Mama Said Knock You Out

The Republican Governor’s Association met this week, and although the caucus may be at its nadir, holding only seats, the mood was rather celebratory, given the amazing wins in New Jersey and Virginia. However, although New Jersey was the tougher contest, it was Bob McDonnell and his blow out win that got the rock star treatment. McDonnell was lauded for both his tone:

“The focus should be on bread-and-butter, kitchen-table, quality-of-life issues,” said Robert F. McDonnell, the Republican who was this month elected governor of Virginia, a seat that had been held by a Democrat, and whose victory is being held up as a formula for Republican reconstruction. “I think that really helped us. We ended up with a two-to-one margin with independent voters because of our focus on the economic problems.”

And tactics:

“Looking at President Obama’s campaign last year, he did a phenomenal job using social media, Twitter, text messaging, any number of other things in order to reach people,” McDonnell said.
More than 30,000 supporters signed on as Facebook friends, and McDonnell aides said they worked to he site fresh and responsive to issues.

The campaign also spent 7.5% of its overall media budget on online advertising – a far higher portion than most political campaigns these days.

That included banner ads on Google, ads overlaying YouTube videos, and even a new tactic of targeting voters throughout the day with ads appearing on their screens at work in Washington, D.C., then later that night on their home computers in the suburbs.

“We bought banner ads on virtually every major site with a demographic that we were trying to reach with the independent voters,” McDonnell said. “You couldn’t go to those sites without having a popup with my name on it.”

A less visible piece of the online strategy came in the behind-the-scenes cultivation of conservative blogs, aides said.

A number of conservative blogs have focused on LL Cool J’s classic line “Don’t call it comeback,” but given this advice to the guvs:

“They are going to face Deeds’s problems, where they really have two options going into their re-election: Do they stand with Reid and Pelosi on issues like national health care and appease their base or do they stand with taxpayers in their states unhappy with this plan,” he said.

I think we should be focusing on the title of the song instead. The Govs races are going to take on a much different hue from the congressional races (with the possible exception of California, where conservatives are rallying around Steve Poizner over the media darling ex-eBay CEO Meg Whitman), and the RGA is locked and loaded for action.

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