Tuesday, September 16, 2008

How to Lose an Election

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at http://www.DemocraticConventionWatch.com

I wrote back in early July about the Pennsylvania Congressional races. Specifically:

PA-6: In the interest of full disclosure, I live here in the PA 6th. Jim Gerlach (R) has name recognition, a more right-wing agenda than is usually publicized, and is overwhelmingly (4.25:1) ahead in money. Plus, Bob Roggio, the Democratic challenger, has self-funded about 30% of his campaign so far. The district is drifting blue, and if Bob gets out and does a lot of retail politics, and plays up Gerlach’s record, he can certainly win. Gerlach won in 2002 by 2.8%, 2.0% in 2004, and 1.4% in 2006. So the trend is very good.
Well, that was then, and this is now. This is the ultimate lesson in "elections are won one voter at a time." In the past two months, the Gerlach people have been out - they've mailed, called and door knocked. The Roggio people, not so much.

Through the end of June, Gerlach spent over a million dollars, Roggio almost $150,000. Sure, Gerlach has a lot more money, but door knocking is free, and phone calling is nearly free.

And it shows in the
polls: Gerlach 57%, Roggio 28% MOE 4.9%. And yes, this is an internal Gerlach poll, but even if he were off by 10 points, the news is not good on the blue front.

Perhaps there will be coattails, as in PA one can vote a straight party ticket, but that's not a gimme. This should be a lesson for all campaigns: get out and campaign. Every day.