The Campaign Spectator

The Campaign Spectator

Sorting the Candidates

By 8.25.15

Despite a nuclear Iran looming on the horizon, the media seem to be putting most of their attention on two candidates for their respective parties’ presidential nominations next year. Moreover, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump each make their own party nervous.

If next year’s election comes down to Clinton versus Trump, a lot of people may simply stay home in disgust.

When we are this far away from the official start of the primary election season, we can usually just say, “It’s still early days.” Many a front-runner this early in the process ended up out of the running by the time the party conventions were held, and totally forgotten by election day.

That is the way it usually is. But that is not likely to be the way it will be this time.

This is Hillary Clinton’s last hurrah. It is now or never for her. And the Democrats have nobody comparable as a vote-getter to put in her place.

The Campaign Spectator

Catching Up on Campaign Tech

By 11.21.13

In the weeks following the 2012 elections, the post-mortems revealed how tech-savvy Obama’s re-election operation had been. The campaign built a revolutionary data-sharing platform and had more than 300 technologists and analysts on staff. In October of 2012, polls were showing a very close race, and the president’s approval rating hovered near 50 percent. So on election night, when battleground states began falling like dominoes into Obama’s column, and when Romney came up 126 electoral votes short, many people right of center were stunned.

Virginia’s gubernatorial elections just weeks ago offered the first test of whether the GOP had learned its lessons from 2012—and an honest assessment shows more work to be done. Democrat Terry McAuliffe scaled down Obama’s model, contracting with BlueLabs, an analytics and data company started by some of Obama for America’s senior analytics staff, and fundraising and get-out-the-vote firm NGP VAN to model and target Virginians. McAuliffe ultimately won by less than 2.5 percent.

Republicans need to do better.

The Campaign Spectator

The Macker and the DMV

By 11.6.13

It took a while, but it was the result we expected. After a brutal election season that culminated in a football Sunday featuring more political attack ads than beer commercials, we Virginians finally have a new governor. Terry McAuliffe defeated Ken Cuccinelli last night by a slim margin. A look at the electoral map shows the state as a sea of red with scattered blue patches in the southeast and a cap of cerulean in the north.

Northern Virginia decided it was so turned off by Cuccinelli’s social policies that it elected a loudmouthed Clintonian bagman nicknamed “The Macker” who boosted his job-creator credentials by setting up a Potemkin Village hybrid car company and who abandoned his wife in the delivery room to attend a Washington Post soiree. McAuliffe was a candidate only a D.C. insider could love, and these days Virginia is bulging with D.C. insiders.

The Campaign Spectator

Nice Losers

By 11.13.12

Someone once said that it is amazing how long the rotten can hold together, if you don't handle it roughly.