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Everyone wants to be the underdog
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, August 21, 2008

Well, at least in political races.

Gov. Tim Kaine:
Well, let me tell you one thing I like about the Obama campaign. When they got into this race of February of '07, they made no bones to anybody. We're the underdog. We've got to look at the campaign that way, and we've got to run it that way.

[...]

GOV. KAINE: I've said since February of '07 he's the underdog. I'll use my own example. I've run six races now. in my contested races, I've never been the favorite. And having the underdog mentality is a good thing. It makes you disciplined, tough, and work harder and work smarter, and that attitude has helped the Obama campaign be successful so far, and I think it will help him between now and November.
Clue to Kaine - he's not the underdog. No Democrat running for the presidency in this election is an underdog. And if they really are, then it because they aren't running a very good campaign and their message isn't resonating.

And here's an interesting side note given all we hear about the perils of "negative campaigning":
By a nearly six-to-one margin, voters say Republican presidential candidate John McCain is running a negative campaign against his Democratic rival, Barack Obama, according to the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.

Nearly three in 10 voters, 29%, pointed to McCain as the candidate running a negative campaign, compared to just 5% who said Obama is running a negative campaign. McCain’s 29% rating is the highest of any one candidate in the previous two presidential elections according to the WSJ/NBC News survey.
Yet, McCain is either up or dead-even in the polls. What was the term the Clinton campaign used instead of "negative ads"? Oh yeah, "contrast ads". Apparently Obama plans on getting into the "contrast ad" business as well.

And by the way, given other presidential elections, this one has been relatively mild on the negative side. Is there an acceptable level of negativity? Has McCain found it?

A tight and interesting race.
 
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I’m not so sure people generally understand what is meant by "negative campaigning."

I’ve always thought it to be when one side unfairly characterizes the other, either personally or on policy, or spreads falsehoods, half-truths, or gossip.

For instance, the NAACP ad about Bush in 2000.

But, upon reading, it’s much more than that.
 
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