Click the Play Button Below for an Audio Summary [audio:http://www.johndavisconsulting.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Late-Breaking-Trends-Sept-29.mp3|titles=Late Breaking Trends Sept 29] Key Trends and their Impact on North Carolina’s 2010 General Election Races Advantage Democrats Advantage Republicans “It was at this time in 1998 that Republicans made one of the greatest blunders in the history of American politics, shifting the momentum to
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Key Trends and their Impact on North Carolina’s 2010 General Election Races
“It was at this time in 1998 that Republicans made one of the greatest blunders in the history of American politics, shifting the momentum to the Democrats. In the final week of the 1998 campaigns, Republicans spent $10 million on television ads reminding voters of the sexual affair between President Clinton and Monica Lewinski. Democrats were spending $30 million on a Get-out-the-vote campaign.” Late Breaking Trends, Sept. 29, 2010
Post: Wednesday, September 29, 2010, by John Davis
Do Democrats have an October Surprise in the Making …Like the Trojan Horse of 1998?
The two biggest unknowns that will determine the outcome of most close races in North Carolina this November are: (1) How is Republican fund-raising fairing? (2) Do the Democrats have an October turnout surprise?
We have no way of knowing the answer to either question until the end of October. That’s when the campaign income and expense report are filed with the State Board of Elections. What we do know is that Republicans have the momentum going into the final weeks of the 2010 election cycle. We also know that Democrats have fought their way out of a corner before by beating the GOP with a more effective get-out-the-vote campaign.
In 1998, President Clinton’s scandalous affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky was in the headlines all year. In addition to scandal, history was stacked against the Democrats that fall because it was a mid-term election year during which the party of the president always does poorly. And finally, the Federal election commission reported a week before Election Day that Republicans had out-raised the Democrats by $92 million.
Gallup reported in October 1998 that GOP enthusiasm for voting was much higher than that of the Democrats, making them much more likely to vote. Gallup also reported that the generic ballot question showed more voters likely to vote Republican than Democratic for congress.
It was at this time in 1998 that Republicans made one of the greatest blunders in the history of American politics, a blunder that shifted the momentum to the Democrats. In the final week of the 1998 campaigns, Republicans spent $10 million on television ads reminding voters of the sexual affair between President Clinton and Monica Lewinski.
Republicans ran the Clinton/Lewinski attack ads despite the polls that showed that the American public did not want Clinton impeached, and despite the polls that showed that every time Special Persecutor Ken Starr released another round of explicit detail of the Clinton/Lewinski affair, Clinton’s favorability numbers would improve! The day after the US House passed the Articles of Impeachment, Clinton’s “favorability” soared to 72%!
The weekend following the $10 million Clinton-bashing ad campaign, CNN/USA Today/Gallup did another poll leading to the astounding conclusion that a momentum shift toward the Democrats was happening; that 52% of the likely voters said that they planned to vote for the Democratic candidate for Congress, and 48% said they were likely to vote for the Republican.
On this day twelve years ago, September 29, 1998, there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that the Democrats were going to suffer greatly at the polls. Here is what actually happened:
- Republican US Sen. Lauch Faircloth lost to unknown Democrat John Edwards
- Republicans lost control of the North Carolina House of Representatives
- No change in party in power in the US Senate and US House
- No change in the partisan mix of US governors
- No change in the partisan mix of U.S. House members from North Carolina
- Gov. Hunt’s “Job Approval” was still above 70%
- Marc Basnight was still in charge of the NC Senate
Democrats did something in November 1998 that no party had done since 1934, and that was to add seats in congress during a mid-term election year while holding the White House.
How did they do it?
Democrats were so concerned about minimizing the damage they were anticipating from the Clinton-Lewinski scandal … along with the damage from the fact that they were being outspent by Republicans during mid-term election year, that they decided to invest $30 million in a Get-Out-the-Vote campaign. The GOTV campaign featured for the first time computer-dialed “robo-calls;” taped phone messages from the President and First Lady phoned into millions of households. It was their Trojan Horse.
North Carolina’s General Election Day begins Thursday, October 14, 2010. That’s the first day of early voting in North Carolina. In 2008, 2.64 million of the 4.31 million votes cast in the NC General Election were early voters; 70% of the early voters in 2008 were Democrats (51%) or Unaffiliated (19%).
Today the trends favor a Republican takeover of the US House and both chambers of the NC General Assembly. But the only thing that counts on Election Day is who got their vote out.
Do Democrats have an October surprise in the making …like the Trojan Horse of 1998? Have Republicans raised enough money to finance their own Trojan Horse? Tension mounts.
Well, there you have it. Late Breaking Trends, Wednesday, September 29, 2010.
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