Thursday, February 14, 2008

Don't Get Cocky

If I can give any one piece of advice to Republicans and the Harris campaign right now it's this: Don't Get Cocky.

The general electorate in the First District has been voting for Wayne Gilchrest for 18 years. They are not prepared to automatically go to the polls and cast a vote for Andy Harris in November. Yes, this is a roughly nine month general election cycle, and yes there is a long road between now and then. But this is no time for complacency. The Harris Campaign successfully made their case to the the conservative Republican primary electorate for the past nine months. The next nine months needs to be spent getting the rest of the electorate on board.

And my Red Maryland compadre Tim Patterson points out this potential roadblock:

Andy Harris lost every county on the Eastern Shore. From Port Deposit to Pocomoke City, Andy Harris lost every single county on the Eastern Shore. The only counties he won are on the Western Shore. Thanks to Parris Glendenning, Mike ManPerm Miller, and then House Speaker Cas Taylor, a State Senator from Baltimore County now will have a chance to represent the Eastern Shore in Congress. How do you think Eastern Shore Republicans will respond to that?

Eastern Shore Republicans are well-known for being quite territorial. I would not discount their displeasure come November. Wayne Gilchrest may have been a RINO, but he was THEIR RINO. One of them.

It's something that needs to be considered when plotting the course ahead for the next nine months. The likelihood of a Harris win is clearly above 50-percent, but it's going to take some effort to make it happen.

Everybody needs to get prepared. Because anybody who thinks that Frank Kratovil is going to be a pushover in the General Election is deluding themselves...

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7 Comments:

Blogger Observer said...

I agree that there needs to be bridge building exercises made, but the he lost every county argument is sort of retarded. He lost Queen Anne's by 10 votes, Caroline by 13 votes, Wicomico by 64 votes, and Cecil by 77 votes.

11:18 PM  
Blogger bud said...

It seems Harris has taken Kratovil for granted. I hope he continues doing so. Here's an interesting perspective. Both Kratovil and Harris got rejected by almost 6 in 10 of their primary voters. Both clearly have work to do. The great equalizer may be Kratovil's Shore residency. Trust me, there are a great deal of Shore residents who will not vote for anyone this side of the bridge. If Gilchrest gets drafted as some third party's nominee, then he potentially could pull this off.

6:45 AM  
Blogger DJ said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:50 AM  
Blogger DJ said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:52 AM  
Blogger DJ said...

To be more specific, Harris lost QA county by 193 votes to Pipkin and 10 votes to Gilchrest. He finished 3rd there.

I think all that Gilchrest would accomplish by running as an Independent would be to solidify Harris' victory in November by splitting the Eastern Shore votes with Kratovil. I'd bet he doesn't want any part of that. I think he'd prefer to let Harris win on his own.

Also, I could see the Gilchrest and possibly some Pipkin voters going to Kratovil. Do you really think that the challengers' supporters (who were more liberal than the moderate Kratovil) in the Dem Primary would go to Harris? I certainly think that if Kratovil plays his campaign cards right, he'll at least turn some heads, if nothing else.

8:54 AM  
Blogger bud said...

DJ,

Do you honestly believe Harris has the broad appeal to win over moderates? Here's a guy that went out of his way to label anyone to the left of him as a liberal. And by aligning with Club for Growth, he left no wiggle room for flexibility.

In a three way race, Kratovil gets the hard demcorats while Harris secures the same republicans. Neither block alone has enough votes to deliver the prize in and of itself. The question would then be who could expand their base. Gilchrest would still earn the support of the center, many of whom helped re-elect him with 68% of the vote just over 1 year ago. It just so happens this block far out numbers the two party extremes.

I will concede that hard line conservatives can do well by sticking to their guns. But in this scenario, he'd face an incumbent still popular with electorate as a whole. Recall only republicans voted Tuesday. In turn, his "in your face" style while touting his ideology turns off people such as myself who'd normally embrace his message.

9:14 PM  
Blogger DJ said...

bud

I don't disagree with you over Harris' inability to win over moderates. I think that the moderate vote is poised to likely follow Kratovil, along w/ the Eastern Shore, as a whole. All that Gilchrest would do by entering the race would be to split those votes with Kratovil, making Harris' plurality enough to win the General.

The only way Wayne should even consider entering is if Kratovil drops out, and Wayne accepts the Dem nomination.

7:35 AM  

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