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Old 09-09-2006, 11:53 PM   #1
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GOP to get personal

but will it work again?

[q]In a Pivotal Year, GOP Plans to Get Personal
Millions to Go to Digging Up Dirt on Democrats

By Jim VandeHei and Chris Cillizza
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, September 10, 2006; A01



Republicans are planning to spend the vast majority of their sizable financial war chest over the final 60 days of the campaign attacking Democratic House and Senate candidates over personal issues and local controversies, GOP officials said.

The National Republican Congressional Committee, which this year dispatched a half-dozen operatives to comb through tax, court and other records looking for damaging information on Democratic candidates, plans to spend more than 90 percent of its $50 million-plus advertising budget on what officials described as negative ads.

The hope is that a vigorous effort to "define" opponents, in the parlance of GOP operatives, can help Republicans shift the midterm debate away from Iraq and limit losses this fall. The first round of attacks includes an ad that labeled a Democratic candidate in Wisconsin "Dr. Millionaire" and noted that he has sued 80 patients.

"Opposition research is power," said Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds (N.Y.), the NRCC chairman. "Opposition research is the key to defining untested opponents."

[...]

John Geer, a political scientist at Vanderbilt University and the author of a book on negative advertising, said Republicans and Democrats alike lack positive issues on which to run because of divisions over the war and economic policy. This will be a "very negative campaign and probably a more negative campaign than any in recent memory," Geer said.

As Republicans try to localize races, Democrats' hopes for the most part hinge on being able to nationalize the election and turn it into a referendum on the Iraq war, President Bush, and the performance of the Republican Congress -- all faring poorly in polls this year.

Bush will try to make terrorism the issue nationally, casting the election as a choice between two distinct approaches for protecting the nation from attack. Beyond that, however, most Republicans want to distance their elections from the national context.

That strategy is born of necessity. Republicans are alarmed by the large number of House and Senate incumbents who are trailing or tied in their internal polling. Many are attracting the support of less than 45 percent of likely voters -- a danger zone for any incumbent 60 days before an election. The political rule of thumb is that incumbents rarely draw a majority of voters who make up their minds in the days shortly before Election Day.

History shows how the combination of opposition research and negative advertising can work. In 2000, Republicans unleashed a furious attack on the spending practices of Democratic House candidate Linda Chapin, including her purchase of an $18,500 bronze frog as a legislator in Florida. Chapin, then the favorite to win an open Florida House seat, lost to Republican Ric Keller. That same election cycle, Republicans dug up a tape of state Rep. Eleanor Jordan (D-Ky.) asking to speed up a vote so she could attend a fundraiser, an image that destroyed her chances of knocking off Rep. Anne M. Northup (R).

This year, the challenge is tougher, as national polling shows voters dissatisfied with the party in power and ready for a change.

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Old 09-10-2006, 12:51 AM   #2
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If this works, and we know it will, then the old saying that we get the government we deserve will be true just one more time.
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Old 09-10-2006, 03:21 AM   #3
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I have to hand it to the Republicans they are very successful at attack campains, and avoiding real issues by turning the sheep's eye to unimportant issues.

You don't even have to leave FYM to see this...
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Old 09-10-2006, 06:14 AM   #4
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Theres a saying about glass houses....
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Old 09-10-2006, 01:51 PM   #5
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Any crap the GOP manages to dig up on Democratic candidates can't overshadow the piss-poor record of the Bush administration. Desperation speaks volumes, and I don't believe the American public will buy it.
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Old 09-10-2006, 05:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by najeena
Any crap the GOP manages to dig up on Democratic candidates can't overshadow the piss-poor record of the Bush administration. Desperation speaks volumes, and I don't believe the American public will buy it.
Word, to your entire post. I hate this current administration with the intensity of ten thousand suns.
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Old 09-10-2006, 08:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by najeena
Any crap the GOP manages to dig up on Democratic candidates can't overshadow the piss-poor record of the Bush administration. Desperation speaks volumes, and I don't believe the American public will buy it.
I agree with this 100%.
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Old 09-10-2006, 09:42 PM   #8
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I hope for the best for your upcoming election but have my doubts as the Republican propaganda spin machine is the stuff of legend. They are incredibly skilled at manipulating public opinion.

It's remarkable how they attack their opponents with incredible vigour and relentness yet whenever the Democrats respond or make similar charges, they just spin it to make the Dems look like assholes. Brilliant!! And usually the Dems apologize for whatever they said and the Republicans continue their attack.

This is how I see it from another country. The Democrats need to grow a pair since I find it remarkable how they are unable to successfully bring down this administration with all it's failings.

Although, here in Canada, the Conservatives were also ridiculously inept at attacking the previous government which had a number of scandals. But eventually, they were voted in because people were fed up with the Liberals. Of course, now many Canadians aren't happy with our present cardboard cutout PM.
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Old 09-11-2006, 02:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by najeena
Any crap the GOP manages to dig up on Democratic candidates can't overshadow the piss-poor record of the Bush administration. Desperation speaks volumes, and I don't believe the American public will buy it.
If this is the case, then how can the '04 election results be explained? Seems to me the American public bought a lot of Republican propaganda they shouldn't have. Why will this election be different?
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Old 09-11-2006, 09:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by trevster2k
The Democrats need to grow a pair
Speak it brother!
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