Sunday, October 22, 2006

Analysis: What impact will campaign tactics have in the last two weeks of this election cycle?

Rove Road-Tests Tougher Attack on Democrats
By Michael Abramowitz and Zachary A. GoldfarbSunday, October 22, 2006
BUFFALO, Oct. 21
-- Republicans have been promising they would ratchet up the rhetoric against Democrats in the final two weeks of the fall campaign, and the man President Bush called "The Architect" of his political campaigns offered a preview of what they have in mind on Friday night.

Appearing in support of embattled GOP Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds (R-N.Y.), Karl Rove offered biting jibes against House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), took a shot at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and asserted that Democratic policies would leave the country weaker.

"You can't say I want to win the war but not be willing to fight the war," said Rove, Bush's top political adviser. "And if leading Democrats have their way, our nation will be weaker and the enemies of our nation will be stronger. And that's a stark fact, and it's the reason that this fall election will turn very heavily on national security."
Officially, Rove was speaking at the annual dinner for the Erie County Republican Party, but in many ways, the appearance was a show of support for Reynolds, the chairman of the National Republican Campaign Committee, who is in danger this fall after questions about his role in responding to the Mark Foley page scandal.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was supposed to be the speaker at the dinner and rally, but he canceled, pleading a scheduling conflict, the Buffalo News said. McCain did speak to the rally by telephone, praising Reynolds as "one of my heroes."

Rove stepped in at dinner and used his speech to road-test new lines of attack on the Democrats. The basic themes -- that voters face a stark choice between the parties on taxes and terrorism -- have been a Bush standard. But Rove, who once claimed liberals preferred "therapy" to war against terrorists, delivered them with an acerbity not seen from his boss.

For instance, he needled congressional Democrats for voting against a GOP plan to try terrorist suspects at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba. Many Democrats said the plan violated basic rights, but Rove rejected that. "You need to have the ability to try these people without worrying about the ACLU showing up saying, 'Wait a minute, did you Mirandize them when you found them on the battlefield,' " he said. "With all due respect, I don't happen to remember that in World War II, that when we captured Nazis and Japanese and took them to camps, that the first thing we did was provide them legal aid."

He also went after the would-be House speaker for voting against renewing the USA Patriot Act, the warrantless wiretapping program and the war in Iraq. "With a record like that, you can see why Nancy Pelosi wouldn't want this election to be about national security," Rove said.
Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly responded, "Clearly, the White House is getting desperate to keep their rubber-stamp Republican Congress."


BrandonK said...

I think the campaign tactics over the next few weeks will be nothing short of dirty. I have a feeling that you are going to be seeing a lot of mud-slinging commericials and articles on television and in the papers, because they are proven to work. By this time in the election cycle, I believe that most politicians are done getting their point across to the American citizens. After doing so I think that these politicians are going to resort to making their competition look bad and discourage possible voters (yet to make a decision) not to vote for them. By what I have been seeing on TV, I think that the Republicans are using this tactic more than the democrats. This means that voters that are unsure about their vote may be drawn away from the Democratic side because of negative advertisement (which may even be false).

MikeM said...

I think campaign tactics in these last two weeks will have a big impact on the end results of this election cycle. Many races in both the Senate and House are toss ups right now. The party that takes control of each will most likely be the one that can pick up more swing votes in these last two weeks. Since most of the candidates’ views and ideas are already known, like Brandon said, the tone of the ads will most likely turn negative. It will be interesting to see how the candidates spend the last of their campaign money and how it turns out for them on November 7th.

BrandonSh said...

I agree that there will be some definate mud slinging in these last few days before the election. I'm readying myself for a barrage of negative ad campaigns from nearly every candidate. I don't know how effective they will be in turning voters unless a big scandal is uncovered, but I am ready for negative tones nonetheless.

justinbel said...

It depends on the type of campaign. Usually the campaigns are about why the other candidate isn't a good choice instead of why they are a good choice. With all the negative ads i'm already annoyed with them and just not pay attention to them. I also think most people have already made up their minds about who they will vote for so the negative ads won't work as well as they would have hoped.

KimK said...

I agree that there will be / have been a lot of negative ads all over the place for just about every candidate. However, I really don't think these negative ads have a huge impact on the elections unless there is a huge publicized scandal. Nevertheless, I think the last weeks of any campaign are very important in doing last-minute convincing and encouraging more people to be interested in the campaign and to go out to the polls to vote

Megan B said...

I think that the campaign tactics in the past week and for the next few days will greatly influence the results of the elections.

As everyone above said there has been and will continue to be a bombardment of negative, mud slinging ads. This onslaught of all negative all the time is starting to aggravate many potential voters. Almost every other commercial on the TV is a negative campaign ad. The sheer mass quantity of ads is enough to make may people just simply tune them out. The blitz of mud slinging may actually become counter productive for candidates, because of how irritated the ads may make some voters. I know that the ads are driving me insane. I think many voters may be more inclined to listen to an ad that is positive, or that simply states facts about the candidate, not that bashes their opponent. There are also so many negative ads; a positive ad may help a candidate stand out in the crowd of negativity. Candidates that say they are for running the capitol in a more moral fashion, then use negative ads seem to be contradicting their own philosophies. There also may be voters that do some research about the fact the negative ads are based on, and find the there are some ads that use trivial information. If a candidate truly wanted to stand out and be noticed they could take the high road, pointing out good things their opponent has done, but then point out how their leadership would be a better option, and how they could improve upon their opponent's good points.

Overall the campaign tactics of the last few days will influence the candidates’ results. I believe the results will either work positively with positive ads or negatively with negative ads.