Monday, April 26, 2010

Observations from the 2010 Political Primary Season:

Some random observations from the political primary season:

Mass Mailings: Once the favorite of candidates, this form of communication is drying up. Postage has gotten too expensive for even well-funded candidates. It used to be the norm that candidates would flood residents' mailboxes with campaign pieces prior to an election Supposedly it takes three mailings to have any sort of impact. This season, I haven't gotten a single campaign mailing and it's eight days out. Candidates are struggling to find alternative ways to communicate with voters that are cheaper than mailing.

Turnout: Expect the turnout in Marion County to favor the GOP with the U.S. Senate and the Sheriff race driving Republicans to the polls.

Healthcare Issue: By November 2010, this issue will be fading. Republicans need to be aware of that and have an agenda ready to go. They can't just be the "anti" party. Republicans have to stand for something.

Curry-Bowes Prosecutor Race: I have still yet to see a Terry Curry yard sign. I hear Greg Bowes has yard signs out but I haven't seen them. One wonders if Curry is taking it for granted that the Democratic party workers will put him over the top. He shouldn't be. Name ID is a very powerful thing and he has very little. Bowes on the other hand has name ID even if he doesn't have the money. While Curry probably will still pull it out, it's going to be a lot closer than he and a lot of Democrats are probably expecting.

McAtee-Fishburn Sheriff Race: I still haven't seen a Fishburn yard signs on the north side, though I understand they are out on the southside. Yard signs would be critical to Fishburn given his lack of name ID. I think Dennis Fishburn has no idea what he was getting into when party leaders convinced him to run.

Mark Massa: Politics 101 is that there are "windows" before the primary and after the general election in which voters are paying attention. That's when advertisements and other communications are most effective. Massa should have burned some of his money in the primary window to up his name ID and spin a favorable impression of himself while he's uncontested. It would have been a great investment. Missed opportunity.

Republican Senate Race: I still say if the Republicans nominate Dan Coats, they will very likely lose the Fall election. Those carpetbagger and lobbyist issues are issues that will keep on giving for the Democrats. They are easy issues to explain and exploit. It's not a done deal that Coats wins the primary though. I rate his chances only a little over 50-50.

School Board: I've always said that politics is played the same way whether it is running for Condo President or U.S. President. My nearly three decades of experience has confirmed that observation. At least until this year. Having entered the Pike School Board race , I found a new kind of politics I have never experienced before. There is a viciousness to non-partisan school board politics I've never witnessed on any partisan campaign trail. People take things very personally and even expressing a contrary position to the status quo is treated as an act of treason.

School Board Race in Pike: Thirteen candidates are running for three seats. Only one incumbent is running for re-election. Ten of the 13 have yards signs up. Only one candidate appears to not be very active. It's a wide open race.


varangianguard said...

School Board elections are as close to home as it gets for motivated voters.

Therefore, I imagine when one feels that one's judgement is being questioned (by challengers with differing opinions), that person takes it, well - personally. And, so do their friends and supporters.

Wilson46201 said...

no observations about the 7th CD GOP contest?

Paul K. Ogden said...

Good point, Wilson. I'd predict Carlos Mays in a squeaker. Carlos is a great candidate but it's hard to overcome the name ID Scott has in that type of race.