Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Meek on the Wrong Track

Kendrick Meek should not be attacking Charlie Crist. He should not be running ads proclaiming that he is the "real Democrat" in this race.

But surely the polls say that Crist is eating deeply into Meek's base support? Doesn't it make sense to go after Crist and consolidate that support?

No - it doesn't actually.

Meek's campaign has fundamentally misread the problem.

From the beginning, his campaign has insisted that once voters know who Meek is and what he stands for, his numbers move up considerably. The problem has always been one of introducing Meek to the electorate.

Yes - that's true. Up to a point.

What Meek's campaign has failed to address is the "electability" issue - the question of beating Rubio.

Democrats are not supporting Crist over Meek because they don't know that Meek is "real Democrat" in the race. Our school systems may not be the best in the country (thanks for undervaluing education, Tallahassee! heckuva job Cannon/Thrasher/Haridopolous/Rubio), but we're not complete idiots. Floridians know that Crist is, at his heart, a slightly right of center moderate.

We also know that MarcoRubio is a pleasant sounding sociopath with a record of being completely unable to control a budget (both personally and governmentally).

Meek, if he wants to consolidate the support of the Democratic base, needs to focus all his energies on Rubio. The base will flow to whoever they see as best able to challenge Rubio. But Meek has hardly even addressed Rubio.

Until he does and as long as Crist has the good sense to aim some of his fire at the profligate Rubio, then Meek will continue to lose a significant percentage of Democrats to Crist.


At 10/07/2010 07:35:00 PM, Blogger Benjamin J. Kirby said...

This is spot-on, CM. For the life of me, I can't figure out the Meek strategy. It's like it worked for him against Greene, so he stuck with it. Mistake.

Is there time enough to switch strategies now? I doubt it.

At 10/08/2010 11:45:00 AM, Blogger Campaign Manager said...

Unfortunately, I think you're right.

Maybe he needed to run some introductory ads coming out of the primary, but he should have pivoted quickly (maybe after running the intro ads for a week) into a full throated attack on Rubio's policy positions and history as a part of a corrupt Tallahassee establishment.

Now, I suspect that is is too late for him to do better than 30% or 35% - and even that would require an unlikely collapse of Crist's support.


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