Wiese and Billion. Going negative is inevitable

The Argus Leader brings up a point this morning about the Race for Governor and the necessary approach that the Demcoratic candidates will take:
...... a campaign that criticizes both Rounds and the Republican majority in the Legislature seems probable.

Four years ago, Rounds was a little-known and underfunded candidate who won his party's nomination in part because his better-recognized opponents were so negative toward each other in campaign statements and advertisements.

That's not likely to happen in the Wiese-Billion primary, both men say.

"That's not the kind of campaign I will run, nor do I think Dennis Wiese will run that kind of campaign," Billion said. "We need to be appealing to our base right now."
The Democrats claim they're going to play nice and not tear each other apart this primary, but I'm thinking that's inevitable. Both are driven to win. If they don't quickly show themselves as the better candidate, a loss in in the future for one of them.

After that, I suspect they're going to lay into the Governor with a vengeance. Why? Because they have to. The Governor enjoys a broad base of support in this Republican State. His base is that massive Republican majority.

The Dems have a minority position, and they can't win without moving Republicans away from their candidate. Which means they're going to have to go negative.

I suspect that many South Dakotans are going to lament the tone of the campaign by the time it's all said and done. But that's the nature of the beast. You want to win? You need to move voters away from your opponent and towards yourself.


nonnie said…
Isn't it sad that candidates can't state the positive reasons why voters should elect them instead of relying on beating up their opponent to gain votes.

Again, I wish campaigns would be limited to about two months, with a limited and equal amount of funding to all campaigns. I think that would solve a lot of problems.
Anonymous said…
You can do it Nonnie... if you don't want to win. If you go up against a candidate who has vastly superior numbers you have to do something to make the voters reconsider their decision.

That comes with new information. Typically that new information is enlightening the voter about voting record, leadership ability, character flaws, etc.

Then, when the voter is undecided, you can throw out your good points and hopefully they like you.

If you're nice, and the other guy is nice ... you would have to be SUPER NICE to get a voter to reconsider his decision. The momentum is all on the incumbent, or person with the numbers', side.

Happy Trails!
Anonymous said…
This idea of a "massive republican majority" might need a little revision.

Last time I saw, there was only about 10% more registered republicans in South Dakota. It was like 220000 to 180000 roughly... maybe you can check on that, if you're interested in being accurate.
PP said…
When the democrat are in that position, you can call it whatever you want.
Anonymous said…
Negative, negative, negative.....that word is overused in blogs regarding campaign strategies. Anyone with experience knows that negative campaigns don't win elections. What does win elections, and sway voters is effective contrast ads that may point out the negative aspects of an opponent, but also provide what the other candidate will/can do better. Voters want more than opinions, they want options. Now if you call these contrast ads "negative campaigning", then you haven't done your homework....I guess I'm just not convinced that these candidates are destined to turn negative.
Hildy Robets said…
Good Lord, I'd have written an Anonymously too if I was harboring illusions.

Is anonymous New to this country? How could Anonymous not know negative campaigns don't work well? They work Fabulously well.
Anonymous said…
Harboring illusions?

The only illusion is that if Wiese and Billion go negative they can win. I think you're misunderstanding my point, we use the word negative with such imprecision that we conflate the differences between ads that are "negative" because they are contentious, argumentative, challenging claims about records, and ads that are characterized as negative because they are nasty, inaccurate, and/or unfair. There's a clear difference between truly "negative" ads and contrast ads that contain more policy information, character and platform criticism, etc, yet these contrast ads do not have the diminishing effect on voter turnout as "negative" ads, which in SD politics, especially for Democrats, voter turnout means everything.

Before you judge anonymous bloggers, please, make sure you know what you're talking about, because I definately do. Here's a question for you to think about, Why do people like yourself and the most of the media continue to mislabel contrast ads as negative, and then believe that its the negative ads that win campaigns?

(oh yeah, here's 3 elections you may want to study - Carter/Ford 1976, Bush/Clinton '92, and Clinton/Dole, '96)

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