Saturday, November 1, 2008

NC Senate

It is pretty clear to me based on our polling this weekend that Kay Hagan will be headed to the US Senate unless something very bizarre happens in the next 72 hours. While numbers in the races for President and Governor are basically unchanged from last week there has been clear movement away from Elizabeth Dole, a sign that her 'Godless Americans' ad is blowing up in her face.

Dole has run one of the worst campaigns imaginable. Here are several examples:

-Doing a huge ad buy in June to bolster her numbers because her people got freaked out when polls right after the Democratic primary showed a tight race between her and Hagan. Of course the polls were going to tighten after Hagan had been on the air unchecked for a month...but the polls in May don't matter a lick. The best campaigns are ones that can keep their eye on the ball and make decisions based on the long haul instead of for instant gratification. How's that 14 point lead in June looking for you now Liddy?

-That money would have been much better spent in say, the month of August, when the DSCC was able to define Dole in the eyes of the electorate without any real push back from her campaign. The fact is the ads she ran in June were actually pretty darn good. They got out in front of the 'she's not from around here' argument by showing her across North Carolina, with real North Carolinians speaking positively about her work. She came across relatively likable in them.

But instead of rolling those out again immediately after she started getting attacked, the reaction seemed to be sitting around for a few weeks and then attacking back. But the reality is that attacking Kay Hagan was never going to be a particularly effective strategy for Dole because this race turned into a direct referendum on her. She needed to make people like her again, and she wasn't going to do it by attacking her opponent that no one knew much about.

The old men on the porch in the DSCC's ads asked a question that I think a lot of North Carolinians were wondering about: "what happened to the Liddy Dole I knew?" Dole never answered that question in this campaign.

I'll have more on the impact of the Godless Americans ad and how it shows her campaign team is out of touch with the changing face of North Carolina later.


JK said...

Excellent analysis! Thanks for your insights, as always.

Mathis said...

Excellent news. As far as the Presidential race, do you think undecideds will break for McCain? Do you think AA support will exceed the expectations you set earlier this week? Basically...will Obama WIN NC? I need Tuesday to happen already!

Lance S said...

I'm looking forward to the NC poll. It seems to me that given the early vote, McCain is going to have to dominate on Tuesday to win here. So it will be interesting to see how big a lead you'll show for Obama after more than 2.5 million votes have been cast.

Anonymous said...

Guess that means NC Pres. is Obama +1. Which means GOTV and early voting are key to whoever wins, which is itself bad news for mccain

BlueNC Women said...


Out here in Republican Union County we've had a run on Kay Hagan signs and bumper stickers. I've been helping the campaign on the ground here and in our little HQ this week we couldn't keep enough signs and bumper stickers. Many people mentioned the ad and said what a terrible thing it was.

We fully expect the Republicans to put "Godless" lit on windshields of cars parked at churches this morning.

It appears that this is backfiring on Dole. It has excited our base about the Senate race more than before.

Anonymous said...

Of course Dole's run one of the worst campaigns in modern history. This is the woman who was NRSC chair in 2006, and we all know what happened then.

Anonymous said...

You go, North Carolinians!! Kick the heck out of Liddy for joining McCain's low road.

Thank you for this excellent article, from Playa del Rey, CA

It is possible for change to happen if we all pull together.

wayne said...

For far too long there has been an insidious influence in our government. That influence is known as Christian fundamentalism; more popularly known as “born-again,” “bible-believing,”
“spirit-filled,” etc. This movement has been allowed to dictate policy and candidacy, and have done so unchecked, and unquestioned. Being a “born-again” Christian does not make one sacrosanct; nor should it exempt one from scrutiny. In addition, to be a “Bible-believing” Christian does not make one right in every instance. Having a religious belief should not be a prerequisite for public office. And to be a fundamentalist Christian does not make one the best candidate for public office. One’s character and intellect is not defined, nor determined, by the
dictates of any religious group. On the contrary, the individual, who is free to have thoughts and feelings of his own, is more apt to develop a refined and balanced character. His intellect is active, and his knowledge base deep and diversified. As for the “Bible-believer,” consider the

There is a common thread that runs throughout Christian fundamentalism and Nazism/Fascism:
a.) the mind-set that life is determined by forces outside of man’s own self;
b.) and man is powerless to change his fate.
In fact, this is the leitmotif of the “base” of the Republican Party. For the “born-again” believer,
faith is rooted in extreme desperation, in the complete lack of faith in human potential; and it leads to nihilism, to the denial of life. It should also be noted, that in the fundamentalist mind-set
and world-view, equality does not exist. Fundamentalists, (the GOP base), may sometimes use
the word “equality” either conventionally or because it suits their purposes. But it has no real
meaning or weight for them since it concerns something outside the reach of their emotional
experience. For the “born-again” believer the world is composed of people with power and those
without it, of superior and inferior ones. All of this is underscored with a rigidly dualistic belief in a cosmic battle of Good and Evil; of which the believer and their “faith-based” political agenda are “good” and of God; everything else is “evil” and of Satan.
On the basis of their sado-masochistic “faith” the believer experiences only domination and submission, but never solidarity. Differences, whether of sex, race, religion, or party, to the fundamentalist, are signs of superiority or inferiority. A difference which does not have this
connotation is unthinkable to the believer.
Fundamentalism, is by its very nature absolutist, totalitarian. The "believer" can only see in rigidly dualistic, black and white terms. They cannot tolerate ambiguity or diversity in anyone or anything.
For them, there is no room for human self-respect or self-regulating conduct. There is no room for questioning or rational thought. Like other oppressive regimes, there is also a very strong anti-intellectual bent.
And in every case the purpose they serve is obvious.
They become remarkable only when seen within the grand, insidious machinery of fundamentalism; designed -by sedition- to build a "Christian America.” By indoctrinating people in this mind-set and by inoculating them to believe that nothing is "true" unless it is "Christian," and that anything can be made true by the decree of the brother-pastor, the machinery of fundamentalism functions psychologically to produce a “new man in Christ,”
devoid of will and moral resistance, stripped of social and historical consciousness. This masochistic "morality" sees the fulfillment of life in its very negation.
Hence, their "faith-based" issue of "pro-life": making abortion illegal even in cases of incest and rape. And among many fundamentalists, even if the woman would lose her life from carrying the pregnancy to term. They do not see that we have a global crisis with food and water shortage. Inhabiting the planet with more people is not the answer. At the same time they will fight over a few stem cells, but have no qualms about sending tens of thousands of young people off to war to be slaughtered. So much for the sanctity of life....
Since 1980, the Republican Party thought that they could pander to the fundamentalists by appealing to their fears and prejudices: the ultra-nationalism, xenophobia, “end-times” paranoia, antinomian disregard for social and environmental problems. The consequence has been that the GOP not only failed to appease the fundamentalists, but now find themselves too deeply entangled with them; to the point that the fundamentalists now constitute the “core” of the GOP. As a result, the Republican Party find themselves playing with political white fire, and have alienated many intelligent moderate Republicans: (Colin Powell, Christopher Buckley,
For example, Sarah Palin's fundamentalism is heavily imbued with “dominionism” and “reconstructionism”. Fundamentalists want the Christian equivalent of Islamic sharia - a strict, literal interpretation of Biblical law. This includes extending capital punishment to all of the capital offenses in ancient Israel. Included in those capital offenses are blasphemy and Sabbath breaking and worshiping of other Gods. Essentially then all atheists, agnostics, mystics, Buddhists and many others would be subject to capital punishment. Under the fundamentalists, Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” would become a living nightmare for women. As for a strict, literal interpretation, fundamentalism does not stand up to examination. The Bible, as the fundamentalists have it, is full of forced translations, mistranslations, historical inaccuracies, and linguistic errors. So, to base the entirety of one’s decisions on a fundamentalist interpretation is incredibly flawed and dangerous.
With fundamentalists -the GOP “base”- America will become a Christian version of Iran. The fundamentalist’s political agenda needs to be exposed and thoroughly scrutinized in the media and all public forums. Candidates for public office should never have to adhere to any “faith-based” issue. All influence of the fundamentalists needs to be thoroughly exorcized from our government permanently. We cannot afford to have our Constitution undermined and our democratic institutions overthrown. Fundamentalism is a very real threat; and we should treat it as such.

James Madison, (the chief architect of the US Constitution), wrote in his "Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments"
(June 20, 1785):
"...3. Because, it is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of Citizens, and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The free men of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entagled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle. We revere this lesson too much soon to forget it. Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other Sects? that the same authority which can force a citizen to contribute three pence only of his property for the support of any one establishment, may force him to conform to any other establishment in all cases whatsoever? ..."

Anonymous said...

Wayne ... honestly, dude, only a handful of people are going to read all that. There's a time and a place for that stuff, and considering the short attention span of bloggers and blog readers, a blog's comment section is just not that place. Have a good week.

nearearth said...

Still no serious discussion about how no one is stepping up to say that there is nothing wrong with having atheists as friends or being an atheist. Why will no one write about this?

Anonymous said...

Wayne -- great post [and I did read it all] -- though will admit the cynic in me had to google it to make sure was not a copy n paste - but that's me lol.
--respectfully -- savage

priya said...

excellent analysis:

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