Lessons Learned From 2005
Lessons our guys learned from 2005 elections:
1. Democrats should focus broadly on failed GOP policies rather than focusing on Bush.
2. Bush's base is in bad shape.
3. The Columbus Dispatch is a poor pollster.
4. Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is a skilled politician.
5. Republicans will do anything to win.
6. Outgoing Governor Mark Warner has helped Virginia Democrats find a new identity.
7. Democrats still have work to do in Virginia.
8. Massively outspending your opponent isn't always enough.
Lessons their guys learned from the 2005 elections:
1. Democrats who are "cretins" can still win easily.
2. Kilgore was flawed, but didn't drive voters away from down-ballot races.
3. Don't put everything your enemies don't want on the same ballot.
4. Attacking your opponents' ex-wife may not completely backfire.
5. People weren't creeped out by Kaine's ads.
6. Mark Warner was ineffective in Kaine's ads.
7. Bush shouldn't have visited Virginia.
8. Arnold should have distanced himself from his ballot measures.
9. Riling a base is always easier than motivating one in the last days of a campaign.
10. Democrats can win two statewide races in a row in Virginia.
11. Sometimes people vote against tax cuts.
12. Either the other ballot measures sunk California's abortion parental notification ballot measure, or California is more liberal than Republicans think.
13. Kilgore's ads were ineffective.
14. Democrats are able to win Fairfax County, VA by a large margin.
15. George Allen and John Warner couldn't put Kilgore over the top.
Lessons Our Guys Don't Want Our Side to Learn:
1. Democrats can sit back and do nothing while Republicans self-destruct.
2. Democrats should oppose the death penalty and grow beards.
3. 2005 is a sign of a broad national trend.
4. Republicans will repeat their 2005 mistakes -- using flawed wedge issues.
5. Voters don't care about taxes.
6. The failure of the Ohio redistricting measures means the Ohio Republicans are in a healthy state.
7. Public disapproval with Bush caused the Democrats' victories.
8. Republicans are done.
Lessons their guys dont want their side to learn:
1. ANY Lessons.My own observations from reading theirs:
2. The 2004 formula will work in 2006.
3. Republicans should run away from Bush.
4. Republicans should shy away from any bold new measures in light of their failures.
5. Bush is not a drag on GOP candidates.
6. Republicans are not fighting a furious rearguard action
7. 2005 represents a broad national trend.
8. Bush is a drag on GOP candidates, even in red states.
9. 2005 was a referendum on Bush.
10. The best way to win is to modeate.
11. Negative ads don't work.
12. Republicans should take advice from the New York Times and CNN.
13. Republicans are in disarray and can't win.
14. Republicans have collapsed in Virginia.
15. Exurbs are slipping away from Republicans.
16. Running an anti-tax campaign won't work.
1. Republicans are much more focused on the Virginia loss than the others.
2. Republicans are divided about Bush's effect on the ticket.
3. Democrats warn against getting too cocky, while Republicans warn about not getting to depressed.
4. Republicans still believe being extremist, going negative, attacking the media, and talking about taxes and divisive wedge issues is the way to win elections.
5. Democrats are upset about the Ohio ballot measures' loss and need to look deeply into how they let that happen.
6. Everyone still thinks Republicans still have the upper hand in Virginia.
7. Schwarzenegger definitely made a mistake tying the ballot initiatives so closely to himself.
8. 2005 should not be over-interpreted. But, the parties' reactions to it should be noted.