Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Democratic Race Six Days Out

I don't know that the reason Bev Perdue has solidified her lead in the polls over the last week or so is that voters like the fact that she's running a positive campaign. She was already leading by 8 when she made the pledge and last week her lead was only up to 9.

I'm pretty sure the reason she's up to 14 now is because she made the pledge though. Sound inconsistent? No. More important than any goodwill the pledge built with voters is that it caused Richard Moore's campaign to go off the deep end. And that's why Perdue's lead has expanded.

During the bomb throwing stage of the race things were going well for the Moore campaign. Their negative ads were a lot more effective than Perdue's. The polls were closing in. I think if things had continued on like that Moore would have won the primary because the race was being played on a field that was favorable to him.

By putting an end to her negative ads, Perdue changed the game. It's been pretty clear the last few weeks that the Moore campaign hasn't figured out how to respond. At first it seemed like they laid off a little bit. They started running some positive ads again. The numbers didn't move so last week they decided to ratchet up the negativity to a whole new level.

The KKK thing may have been a stretch but the 'Confederate hats' press conference was a truly ridiculous (and counter productive) act of political showmanship. It was an indication that the campaign had gotten in so deep that they had sort of lost track of reality and how people would react to their actions.

I have not talked to one person who thought that was a good move. I know undecideds who it moved into the Perdue column. I know Perdue supporters who were so enraged they said they wouldn't vote for Moore in the fall if he managed to pull off the nomination. And I know Moore supporters who were embarrassed for their candidate. But I don't know anyone who thought it was anything but a stupid move.

Richard Moore is a good politician and has a good team. They've already come back from the brink once in this campaign. But they have a whole lot of ground to make up in not a lot of time.

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