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Wednesday, September 02, 2009


Lessons from the St. Petersburg City Elections

Old fashioned politics matter. Not just facebook and twitter and websites, but boots on the ground.

People who win by huge margins usually do so because they run like they are 20 points behind in the polls.

Name recognition matters. Ford and Foster came first and second because people knew who they were. Gibbons and Wagman came into this election with a lot of internet buzz and chatter, but without wide name recognition among the voters.

Unions matter. Would Foster have come in second if he couldn’t have hitched his anti-crime platform to his endorsement by the PBA? Would Ford have been able to start her campaign so late in the game if she couldn’t have counted on the active support of the Firefighters? In case you’re wondering, those were both rhetorical questions and the short answer is no.

These thoughts come from afar, since I am not on the ground in St Pete, so feel free to take them with a grain of salt.

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