|Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard|
You don't have to have much campaign experience to know that jobs and crime are actually issues Melina Kennedy (assuming she wins the nomination) will use against Ballard. This is the only time I can think of where a candidate (Ballard) has selected as his primary campaign issues, issues that actually work for his opponent.
|Indianapolis Mayoral Candidate|
Yep, no path to victory. But a path is beginning to open up...
The Democrats are on the verge of handing Ballard a major campaign issue. If the House Democrats walkout ended within a few days, after getting the Right to Work bill pulled, the Democrats would have succeeded in motivating their base without doing long term damage to themselves with ordinary voters.
It doesn't matter the reason, any legislative walkout will be highly unpopular with average voters. But walkouts are also usually quickly forgotten by the general public...that is unless the walkout continues on for a lengthy period of time. Then it becomes ingrained in the public's mind as the way the minority party conducts business. Instead of becoming a quickly forgotten issue, it transforms into a "voting issue," an issue that affects the way one votes.
By continuing with the walkout into the second week, the House Democrats are on the verge of handing Ballard a pro-Republican, anti-Democratic voting issue. If the Ballard campaign people are smart, and there is not much evidence of that thus far, they will have Ballard publicly bashing the walkout while making make Melina Kennedy take a position on it. Kennedy will be boxed in...she almost has to support her fellow Democrats by supporting the walkout, a highly unpopular position with voters that could be turning into a voting issue in 2011.
Should the walkout continue, the Ballard people would be smart to jettison the jobs and crime issues, which are clear losers for Ballard, and make the walkout the No. 1, 2 and 3 issues. So far though I haven't even seen Ballard comment publicly on the walkout. It is a golden opportunity for Ballard to, after three years of pushing highly unpopular policies, to take a popular position for a change.
We will see if the Ballard's campaign realizes there is a ball sitting on the tee.