Missed it by 'that' much

It's ironic that just a couple of days after Don Adams (Tennessee Tuxedo, Maxwell Smart, etc) passes away, that a catchphrase of his came to mind. Where he would opine "Missed it by *that* much," holding us his fingers to indicate a narrow gap. Well, that's what came to mind when I got the results of the Brookings Lowe's vote.

Aside from the fact that media coverage the evening of this vote was terrible, I found out from my wife the next day that the vote passed by 94 votes. That's the kind of margin that smarts. For the pro-forces, it sure as heck is not a mandate from the people.

For the anti-forces, it's going to be anguish, regret and self abuse. "What could we have done differently" is going to haunt their thoughts. And sorry guys, I'm not going to offer you comfort on this one. I thought the anti-forces might have had this one. But their mistakes did them in. What comprised 90 votes worth of mistakes from my vantage point in Pierre?

The message was all over the place. They had plenty of money - the number of ads illustrated that. But they were not consistent. Remember the words of Mr. Miyagi in the Karate Kid - "Focus, Daniel-san." If your message is inconsistent, how can you make that message penetrate with the voters. (This is also true with name ID and issues in partisan political races, so candidates take notes).

Contrast this with a similar race I worked on regarding city reorganization in Pierre. We had no money, and I mean no money. 700 bucks cash and some in-kind, when I said I needed $3000-5000 at my disposal to do it right.

With no money, we fought an extremely well financed opposition to a standstill (24 votes) because we were focused and did not get off message. If I would have had the money the anti-Lowe's forces had at their disposal, we would have won by a good margin, because I could have done some things we didn't have money for. (Which bring up a good idea for a post on campaign budgeting sometime soon).

The "Anti-Lowe's subsidy" forces in this case did have some things going for them. I thought they were well organized and seemed to have as much or more individual public support than the other side. And as mentioned, they had enough money to do it.

But that critical lack of focus on message did them in.

If you noticed the daytime post, I'm taking a couple days off to spend some time with the family in Brookings. Without disclosing it exactly, my bride is celebrating a milestone birthday today, so I came over last night to suprise her.

Happy Birthday MP!


SD Straighttalk said…
The primary proponent of this election, Lowe's, won by using the simple and usually overriding tactic of simply selling the benefit.

The big box store just sent out sales fylers describing their merchandise, availability, and low prices.

Voters got the message of the benefit that Lowe's coming to Brookings would bring.

Message beat tactics (good or bad).
Anonymous said…
thanks for making my 30th birthday such a great day- love you.
PP said…
Somehow, I think you were older than 17 when we had our first child.
Anonymous said…
The big thing for Brookings will be that it helps clean up the Front Door entrance to the town. What do you see when driving into Brookings? An asphalt plant about 1 mile from the exit, a rock quarry, a water treatment plant, that aborted cancer of a turd Daktronics and its ever expanding pile of corrugated steel building, and a bunch of empty retail spaces near the interstate. I can't tell if I'm entering a civilized and populated area or taking a trip through the colon into the bowels.

It'll help make the town look like less of a polluted Benzene cancer trap (3M) and more decent.

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