Monday, November 07, 2005

Final thoughts before E-Day

Here are some random thoughts and observations that I've had in the past few days as we approach Election Day tomorrow. 72 Hour Task Force: Our household received recorded messages from both Rudy Giuliani and George Allen urging us to get out and vote for Kilgore and the GOP ticket on Tuesday. Sunday evening, we received a live phone call from a College Republican making sure that we knew where our polling place was and that we would get out to vote on Tuesday. And late Saturday afternoon, we had someone drive up to our house and come to our door to make sure that we were going to get out and vote for Kilgore. All that coupled with observers inside the polling places on Tuesday checking to make sure GOP identified voters have voted, I don't know what more we could do. (And that doesn't even touch the flood of mail that we've received.) On the Dem side, two teenagers / college students walked through our neighborhood on Saturday afternoon placing door hangers on homes that they had on a list. They steered clear of my house, though. In addition to probably not being on their list, I was outside at the time AND I had my Jeep parked in the driveway with the GOP ticket bumpersticker on it. I do have to question what sort of list they were working from, though. My one next door neighbor voted in the 2004 Democrat primary as a joke (he voted for Sharpton) and has been on their mailing lists ever since, yet he didn't receive a door hanger. My other next door neighbor did receive a door hanger. However, he's a pilot of Air Force One and a staunch Republican. Another neighbor of mine across the street also questioned why he received it. This individual, an African American, said to me, "They must have seen a black man working in the yard and thought I was on their side." This small sample of what is wrong with at least the Dem list for my neighborhood is a strong argument for party registration here in VA. I actually felt sorry that they got it so wrong. Sign Wars: There was a time when you knew a candidate's party by the color of his or her bumper sticker here in Virginia. Democrats were red and Republicans were blue. As recently as Don Beyer in 1997 and Chuck Robb in 2000 the Democrats were using their standard red color. Mark Warner changed that in 2001 and was successful in his race. Now almost everyone is using blue, no doubt in a subtle effort to further blur the lines between the parties and make Democrats in Virginia appear more like Republicans. There has only been one "red" candidate this year that I have seen and that is Russ Potts using the color scheme that the Democrats used to use for his signs this year. I guess you could call it Potts showing his true colors. I had hoped to take a picture of one of Hilda Barg's signs for her race for delegate in the 52nd district and compare it with a photo of Bill Weld and Paul Cellucci's sign from their 1990 campaign for Governor and Lt. Governor of Massachusetts, but I never got around to it. Suffice it to say, the color and layout is identical. I wonder if that is just chance or someone on Barg's campaign had seen the Weld/Cellucci sign years ago. Endorsements: Next, the issue of endorsements. Personally, I don't think that newspaper endorsements are going to move anyone this year. What I DO think will move people this year are the endorsements of various organizations and groups. Newspaper endorsements are informational, but don't get people to the polls the way organizations and groups do. In this arena, Kilgore's support from the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce, the NRA, and the Virginia Home Builders just to name a few will go a long way. If given the choice between a long list of newspaper endorsements and a long list of membership group endorsements, I'll take the latter any day. Just look at Scott Hiron's anecdote about the construction workers in his neighborhood who got word from on high that they were to support Kilgore because of Kaine's anti-growth advertisement. Those are real voters who will go to the polls motivated by something that impacts them directly. You can be sure that their employers will give them the time to go vote, too. Satellite Living: As a subscriber to both DirecTV and XM Radio, I've been largely spared the blitz of TV and radio ads. (Other than when I've tuned into the local TV news from time to time or had on local radio on my alarm clock for 15 minutes in the morning before I get up.) I'm part of a growing market whose only exposure to candidates' paid advertisements is in the form of direct mail pieces. Since my wife gets home from work before I do, most of those are already in the trash by the time I get home. This will represent a growing challenge to candidates in the years to come. I take it that Kilgore recognized this with his sponsorship of traffic reports on local radio during the campaign, but even then I get our area's traffic on XM now on its own instant traffic and weather channel. So, no predictions here, but much to ponder regarding this and future elections as we head into the homestretch tomorrow.


At 11/07/2005 01:13:00 PM, Blogger Hirons said...

Down in Stafford the local dems. bought some time during the Redskin's game via Cox cable advertising. One Supv. race and other School board race (although the particular SB cadindates says he doesn't do politics and is not active with Dems. The ads sure did have similar looks and feel.)

Also my mother-in-law got a fund-raising call from RNC last night - why is the RNC making fundraising calls on Sunday evenings? and why to a state the Sunday before election day?

Compared to Fairfax and PWC politicos in Stafford have no clue how to do a sign blitz. You'd almost think that they don't know the secret that signs win campaigns . . .


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