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Creigh Deeds Bob McDonnell

I Sure Hope Petts Is Finished as Democratic Pollster

by: Elaine in Roanoke

Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 12:22:55 PM EST

( - promoted by KathyinBlacksburg)

Jonathan Martin of Politico has a story, dateline November 7, which explains in part how the Deeds gubernatorial campaign became such a train wreck. While I realize that it is quite painful for us to take that campaign apart and try to analyze its mistakes, the process is absolutely necessary in order to avoid a repeat.

In June, right after Creigh Deeds had come from behind to defeat Brian Moran and Terry McAuliffe, his campaign went into hibernation to replenish funds and set up a staff for the general campaign against Bob McDonnell. Deeds turned to pollster David Petts for advice on the upcoming contest.

What was Petts' advice, given in a detailed memo? Go negative on the Republican nominee, capitalize on Deeds' assumed natural advantage with independents, and be wary of two fellow Democrats, incumbent Gov. Tim Kaine and President Barack Obama. According to Politico, which obtained a copy of the memo, Petts laid out his strategy "in cool, confident language."

Those of us trying to work at the grassroots know full well that the advice became the operative plan for the Deeds campaign. Deeds followed many of the recommendations that Petts laid out at the end of the 24-page strategy document.

The 17-point loss to Republican Bob McDonnell was among the worst losses in a gubernatorial election in nearly a half-century. A result of that, as Politico notes, is that the campaign is destined to become a textbook example of how not to conduct a campaign.

There's More... :: (13 Comments, 1213 words in story)
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