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The Most Ineffective Campaign Ever

First, they ran against George W. Bush. Then against the Chamber of Commerce. Then against the “loony” Tea Party. None of the Dems’ antics have worked:

Democratic attacks on Republicans and the Tea Party for being too extreme are failing to sway voters, according to The Hill 2010 Midterm Election Poll.

Only 15 percent of likely Democratic voters said they were voting to “ensure extreme right-wing candidates are not elected to Congress.

Independents, who are the largest bloc of undecided voters and are vital to Democrats if the party is to retain its House majority, are also unconvinced by warnings about extremism. Only 14 percent of them said they would vote for a Democrat to avoid electing an extreme right-wing candidate; 11 percent said they would vote Republican to avoid electing an extreme left-wing candidate. . .

The resulting data underscore a broad worry among Democratic strategists that the party’s message is too muddled to rally voters, and that it’s already too late to turn around a looming electoral debacle.

Two things are at work here. First, with an exception here or there, the Tea Party–backed candidates don’t seem all that extreme. What’s extreme is spending trillions, running up the debt, and telling the public that nationalized health care will save money. Compared to that, the vow to stop it is downright sane to most voters’ way of thinking. And second, the messengers — especially Obama — have very little credibility. Nancy Pelosi calling anyone extreme simply isn’t going to influence anybody who isn’t already a committed liberal.

I agree with this take:

“I think the Democrats have really done themselves a disservice by demeaning the Tea Party movement, because you have many independents and conservative Democrats sympathetic to those Tea Party concerns,” Republican strategist Kevin Madden said. …

“There’s a very consistent thread running through all of the Republican messaging to voters right now,” said Madden. “Washington, D.C., represents the status quo, and that means out-of-control spending and deficits.”

Voters figure that, hey, if a Sharron Angle or a Ken Buck is a little unpolished and a bit ambitious in the aim to curb government, so what? If the alternative is a more liberal policy, they’ll gladly sign up with the “extremists.”



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