I've had a chance to watch a bunch of the TV ads airing on Richmond (VA) stations. Here are some concerns I have, FWIW
1. I do not see Romney/Ryan hammering home the debt issue. IMO that's our most powerful weapon, because Team Obama can't really counter that. Both sides are running ads that seem to send the same general message: "My plan is better and the other guy stinks." Well, if you're an average, unengaged voter, those ads can cancel each other out. They can cause you to tune out. (Which, I suspect, is Team Obama's plan).
Shouldn't the GOP be running graphs, over and over and over again, that show how the debt is skyrocketing? Why aren't they emphasizing that we're burdening our children and grandchildren with huge debts? IMO that message would resonate, and Team Obama really doesn't have much they can say to counter it. So...WHY NOT USE A WEAPON THAT THE OTHER TEAM CAN'T DEFEAT??!!!
2. Tim Kaine owns George Allen on the airwaves. If George Allen can't do better than this, the GOP deserves to lose this seat. Kaine is beating him to death and Allen is not running ads that, IMO, inflict any real damage on Kaine.
Why don't we start running against Harry Reid, instead of Tim Kaine? EXPLAIN, while we still have some time to do so, why a Democratic Senate controlled by Harry Reid is a bad thing. Cite the volumes of evidence we have to back up our claim.
THEN, explain why any moderate Dem is blowing smoke if they pledge to be moderate and stand up to their party if elected: that same moderate Dem will confirm Harry Reid to be the majority leader. Knowing FULL WELL that the majority leader will kill bills that liberal Dems don't like. (Like, say, federal budget resolutions.)
Here, IMO of course, are the benefits of doing that
- We educate some voters. People are really paying attention this year.
- We get some buzz
- We put the Dem candidates on the spot. ("Mr. Kaine, if Harry Reid remains in control of the Senate, how can Obamacare be changed?"). Right now, they're counting on the ignorance of the voter. Let's do something about that! Let's take a few weeks in September and early October to educate voters. Then, we can mount some arguments closer to Election Day that build on those arguments. Make Harry Reid an issue, and make Tim Kaine deal with him!
I know it's early in the election cycle. But, right now, from what I see on the TV in the Richmond suburbs, our message isn't working.