posted on October 31, 2013 08:53
If Democrats want to come back in North Carolina, they need to avoid their usual mistake of thinking it’s all about the issues.
It’s in Democrats’ DNA to do that. We’re issues people. We care a lot about things like Medicaid expansion, Common Core curriculum, growth strategies and infrastructure.
It’s not that voters don’t care. But they easily figure out which party is with them on issues.
What swings swing voters is character. That’s why negative ads and mailers work. They raise questions about politicians’ character, credibility, judgment and honesty. Swing voters ultimately vote for the candidate they trust most – or against the candidate they trust least.
Democrats will not beat Governor McCrory on Medicaid expansion. They can beat him for saying one thing and doing another. Like promising to do away with cronyism, then setting up a political patronage system. Like promising to cut “waste and fraud” in Medicaid, then paying two 24-year-olds $87,000 to help run Medicaid.
That’s about character, integrity and trust.
You won’t beat Republican legislators on a particular issue, but you can beat them on being mean, vindictive and uncaring to teachers, women, minorities, young people and anybody who’s having hard economic times.
Some Democrats get it. Like President Obama. His campaign relentlessly portrayed Mitt Romney as an out-of-touch plutocrat with contempt for average folks.
Too many Democrats are like the fine candidate who had some serious image problems with voters, but just knew they’d come around when they heard his job-training ideas. Suffice it to say the voters were able to restrain their enthusiasm.