Cuccinelli-Oleszek: Air Wars and Campaign Direction

The Cooch and the Hoot are starting to lob ads at each other. Recently seen, and posted on

First, the Hoot takes a shot at the Cooch

Then Cooch returns serve:

These are the most recent advertisements, and I think they show the campaigns are adopting very different strategies…one of which is that the Hoot chooses not to offer any citation as to when or where the Cooch comments were made, while Cooch not only cites sources but has original recordings up at his web site.

I suggest these advertisements show two things:

a) Hoot is still trying to get her base mobilized;  OR

c) Hoot thinks stem cell research will fire up the populace; and
b) Cooch has got his base mobilized, and is trying to reach beyond it

Consider the recent WaPo poll reported in today’s issue. Read the story, and then look at the actual results.

Immigration has achieved heightened velocity as an issue. Transportation is still the number one issue across the state, but in Northern Virginia immigration is the #2 issue. But continue down the list.  Nothing shows up about reproductive rights or stem cell research, both hot button issues to the conservative GOP base and the liberal Democratic base.

After seeing the Oleszek piece NLS posted about earlier this month, I got to thinking, and this new ad and this new poll confirms my suspicions.  Hoot pushed the stem cell research matter both in her mailing and in the most recent ads.  However, as you can see from the WaPo polling stem cell research is not above the horizon as an issue in this election.

Why is Hoot pushing it?  I think it is because she has failed to energize her base, or what she sees as her base, and she is trying to find and mash the red-button issue that will turn out the base.  At least that is my thought…because she can’t really think stem cell research is the issue upon which this election will be won, can she?

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

SenKen’s advertisement offers two different quotes from Hoot at the Springfield debate that suggest she really is not ready for prime time.  He goes on to hit her for votes she made in support of the Fairfax County School Board Legislative program and its request for local income tax authority for education.

What strikes me is that Cooch is hitting things that are going to catch the eye and ear of most folks who are only now getting into the swing of the election, while Hoot is focusing (in full or in part, depending on the medium) on things that are big with the faithful but not with the general public, plus her transportation attack on Cooch is potentially offset by her unwillingness to say whether she would vote for or against the recent transportation plan.

I earlier predicted the Cooch over the Hoot, more out of instinct than anything else.  However, if I am right and she is still trying to mobilize the base or pull in the general public with stem cell research pleas, then her campaign is in worse shape than I thought, and lends credence to the comments in the recent WaPo non-endorsement of her campaign.

When will we know which it is?

In about 13 days and six hours…and the clock is ticking!


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