Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts published in “Day: August 16, 2008”

The Novick brand

Steve Novick

Steve Novick

What happens after a savvy political operative launches himself into a major campaign, loses, and then thinks back on it? Here's a good answer, courtesy of former Senate candidate Steve Novick. (And the hat tip to Loaded Orygun.)

Novick's own analysis of his race, based around the development of his "brand" as a candidate, is well worth the read. He points out that "we lost, so apparently branding isn’t everything. But I think it’s fair to say that we did better than expected. As a first-time candidate running against the speaker of the State House, I was outspent by roughly 2-to-1, and lost 45 percent to 42 percent. Compared to other recent “progressive underdog vs. moneyed establishment candidate” Northwest races, that’s not bad. In 2000, Maria Cantwell outspent progressive underdog Deborah Senn in Washington’s Senate primary by about 2-to-1—and won the race by an even larger margin."

Money matters, he says - but points out too that it's not all that matters. Novick's campaign came a lot closer to a win than many people had expected when House Speaker Jeff Merkley (who did win) first entered - a good many had thought it a slam dunk. It wasn't, and the reasons why are a useful read.

WA: What changes top 2 have wrought, pt 1

Next week's Washington state primary election has, in truth, drawn only limited interest for its politics - much more for its new procedure, which effectively puts party lines to the back of the bus and lets voters send their two favorite candidates, of whatever persuasion, on to November.

The wide-open feel to the thing, though, is expected to draw a solid electorate - Secretary of State Sam Reed has estimated as high as 46%. And if the primary-level contests are not, for the most part, cliffhangers, a number of them will be of interest.

The statewide executive offices probably will not be among them, at least all that much. Probably a lot will be made out of the percentages in the governor's race - the vote received by Democratic incumbent Chris Gregoire against Republican challenger Dino Rossi. But there's no meaningful doubt those two will advance to November. Most of the other state executive races also should resolve into conventional Republican/Democratic contests for November.

Some races are more interesting, though, and could evolve in directions different than would have been possible, or at least likely, under a system other than top two. Here are some of them. (more…)