Democrats target Wall Street as new Election 2010 bogeyman
Ads that tie Republicans to Wall Street are boosting early voting returns for some Democrats in Election 2010.
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Early voting returns suggest that there may be a correlation between this stepped-up attack on Wall Street and Democratic fortunes at the ballot box, says Iowa State University political scientist Steffen Schmidt. According to a new Associated Press analysis of more than three million early ballots, Democrats have “an edge” in some states and counties. Early votes for Democrats outnumber those for Republicans so far in Iowa, Maryland, North Carolina, Louisiana and Nevada.Skip to next paragraph
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This surprising strength suggests that as the Democrats clarify their message, this anti-Wall Street trend could continue to help them. “It may make the massacre of Democrats that is being predicted less devastating than expected,” says Mr. Schmidt. At his blog at InsiderIowa.com, he highlights what he calls an odd Democratic reluctance to hammer this point home earlier. Why, he wonders, did Democrats and groups such as Moveon.org "miss the opportunity to point out it wasn’t Obama and the Democrats that created the problem that resided with Wall Street?”
Timing may still be on the Democrats' side, says Vanderbilt University’s John Geer, Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions. He cautions against drawing too straight a line between an ad campaign and the fortunes of a political party, but he does point out that the Democrats have run a far less effective campaign than the Republicans this cycle. “There is a difference between campaign and governance,” he points out, “but both still require a clear message.”
This is something the party in power has been slow to grasp. Is this new momentum too little, too late? Not necessarily, he says. “If they had really played this anti-Wall Street message hard early on, they would have given the Republicans time to counter it." This way, he says, their message has the leading edge just as voters are headed to the ballot box.