Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Can Harry Reid Survive?

Reading the polls like everyone else, I have no idea who will win the Nevada Senate race between Harry Reid and Sharron Angle.  But let's pretend we're hard-nosed political strategists. Here are the messages the candidates, or people acting in their behalf, are putting out over the internet today. Each, I suspect, is a pretty fair representation of the candidate’s closing argument.

The Angle ad says, in effect, things are so bad that you have nothing much to lose by voting out a hack like Harry Reid:

The Reid ad says, in effect, that you’re far too well-off to risk voting for a kook like Sharron Angle:

Is there any doubt about which message is more compelling in a state with double-digit unemployment and a housing market overwhelmed by foreclosures?


Dave said...

I see your point, but what would you have the Reid campaign do instead? Since Reid is a very known quantity, it's likely that any voter still undecided at this point is undecided because they're unsure whether Angle is really a viable alternative. So I would imagine that playing the kook card is going to be a pretty effective tactic.

(Angle's ad is smart work, too. Notably, it doesn't even show a picture of Angle, and frames the election as nothing but a referendum on Reid.)

Ron Replogle said...

Don't you think it's odd that the Senate Majority Leader can't come up with an ad that says "if you reelect me I'll do X, Y and Z to make things better"? Or at least "look at the great things I've done for you in the past." None of the Reid ads I've seen say anything remotely like that. They're all about how extremely extreme Angle is.

Scrooge McDuck said...

"Scary, ain't he?" seems to be the standard playbook when you're running against a relative unknown. Especially when times are bad.

He's run other ads in Nevada bragging about his power to bring home the bacon. But now it's time to close.

Dave said...

Sure, it would be wonderful if political ads were consistently of the "if you elect me I'll do X, Y, and Z" variety. But since we're pretending to be hard-nosed political strategists here, I can't argue with the Reid campaign's tactics. Late October politics gets ugly, because ugly is effective.

Mean Voter said...

This season's elections are a funny thing. That Harry Reid should be blamed for the foreclosures in Nevada and high unemployment is kind of funny. Was he also responsible for Nevada being the fastest growing state and having the lowest unemployment just a few short years ago? I don't remember. But that would have been kind of ridiculous too. Opponents are always going to take advantage. But I agree that Reid ought to start defending himself for who he really is and what he's capable of.