Thursday, October 1, 2009

How Doug Hoffman Can Become a Congressman

The first independent poll not performed by a right-leaning outfit has come out in the 23rd Congressional District. The results? Scozzafava is ahead with 35% of the vote to Owens' 28% and Hoffman's 16%. This leaves 21% undecided. In addition - only 1/3 of Scozzafava and 1/4 of Owens voters in this poll say they are confident in their selection. The race is wide open for Doug Hoffman to take.

Doug Hoffman is about to receive a quarter million dollar investment from the Club for Growth. That could be huge for increasing name recognition (71% of voters have no opinion of Hoffman) and getting his message of limited government out in the open. But that can not be all.

First - he must avoid the mistakes that the NRCC made in the NY-20 special election. Do not go 100% negative. Hoffman must begin preparing positive advertisements introducing himself to the district. He's a certified public accountant and small business owner who understands the hardships of these current economic times. He's a fiscal conservative who wants to see our economy fixed with common sense, conservative approaches. A television ad incorporating these elements could be powerful - showing that Hoffman is just like the average voter. With 71% of voters having no opinion of Hoffman, this allows Hoffman to define his candidacy as he sees fit - not as others would define him. He really is a genuine small business owner and accountant with a great story to tell - so tell it.

Second - take a note from the cross tabs of where one needs to spend their time. Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties where Hoffman is currently at 10% are not outright lost causes - but building up support in Madison, Oneida and Oswego counties where he currently polls at 20% and 30% are undecided may be more important. Those western counties are Scozzafava territory, but the remaining counties are ripe for the picking. Knowing this from the Sienna cross-tabs could be beneficial in targeted advertising in this quick election.

Third - Hoffman needs to make the most of the endorsements / support of all the conservative PACs / groups coming to bat for him. Hopefully some big-wigs who endorsed him will come to the 23rd district to help him out, like Fred Thompson, but we don't know for sure. Allow them to make calls, advertise, and see if they can help with GOTV efforts.

In a short turnaround election, GOTV and name recognition are important. Having a powerful, district-wide GOTV effort and positive name recognition through targeted advertising can improve Hoffman's chances.

In short - this race is wide open and Hoffman has an opportunity to win this special election. It also provides the conservative movement with a new rallying point in this off-year election. Hoffman has the opportunity - let's hope he can pull it off.

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