Backfire on Kilgore

Republican Jerry Kilgore released some of the mean-spirited ads I've ever seen, and they are backfiring. Here's the recent SUSA poll numbers -- the first public poll since Kilgore launched the negative attack-- and the first one showing Kaine ahead by 2%, a 5% swing in the race toward the Virginia Democrat Tim Kaine since a month ago:
         Oct     Sept       Aug        June       March

Kaine    47      43         43         39         36
Kilgore  45      46         48         49         46
The statewide poll, taken of 750 Virginians over the weekend, shows Kaine leading with 47% of the vote. Republican Jerry Kilgore has 45%. Trailing far behind is independent candidate Russ Potts with 4%. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.7%, meaning the race is a statistical dead heat. But our tracking does show a steady climb for Kaine. In March and June Kilgore was ahead by 10 points. By August the lead was smaller, Kilgore at 48% to Kaine's 43%. And last month Kilgore was leading by three points. A Kaine spokesperson says Virginians are fed up with what they call Kilgore's negative campaign. Mo Elleithee, Kaine's communications director said, "People want someone with a positive agenda and someone who will keep Virginia moving forward. The voters are not responding well to Jerry Kilgore."

...Newschannel 10 Political Analyst Dr. Bob Denton says the tone of Kilgore's campaign could be the problem. "When campaigns get to intense and too much attack and too negative... that we may start seeing a backlash from the general electorate," Dr. Denton said. Denton believes this is basically an issue-less, personality driven campaign, with the voters asking, "Are they nice? Are they mean? Are they like me? And I think the campaign of Kilgore is being painted as someone who is indeed mean-spirited and going too negative."

Kilgore's press secretary, Tim Murtaugh, says, "We have always known this would be a close race. We take nothing for granted and will campaign as if we were 10 points down."

Haha, Murtaugh has been giving that soundbite ever since Kilgore was up 10% in March, and hopefully his prediction becomes reality and Kilgore goes down by 10% in November.

Tags: Governor 2005-6 (all tags)



I heard over the weekend that Kilgore
dumped Rove from a campaign event.

I'm sure they'll claim a scheduling conflict.

All this tells me that maybe being a Republican right now is a drag on your ticket.

I'm beyond heartbroken.

New on EWM you won't believe it: DeLay Releases "Earle's Gone Wild" Video

by The Muse 2005-10-17 04:16PM | 0 recs
Re: I heard over the weekend that Kilgore
Yea, and they are not asking Bush to come in either.
by Jerome Armstrong 2005-10-17 05:00PM | 0 recs
Re: I heard over the weekend that Kilgore
Considering it's VA- that's a surprise even with his numbers given the military presents in the state.
by bruh21 2005-10-17 09:16PM | 0 recs
Re: I heard over the weekend that Kilgore
They did claim a scheduling conflict ... in so many words.
by redsoxkangaroo 2005-10-17 05:29PM | 0 recs
The Last Debate..
Kilgore's performance (especially his gaffe on the non-negative campaigning pledge), alongside his unconscionable subsequent ads, have crippled his campaign IMHO.  
by Hadi 2005-10-17 04:22PM | 0 recs
Maybe the Hitler stuff is so over the top
that VA voters aren't buying it?

I know that there are some states like MN where a similar ad would almost assuredly result in a backlash, but I don't know enough about the VA electorate and how they respond historically to similar ads. In some states, it'd be "just another nasty ad" that people will try to tune out.

Or maybe Kaine successfully made it seem like Kilgore was attacking his personal religious beliefs?  

by Newsie8200 2005-10-17 04:36PM | 0 recs
According to Open Secrets Jerry Kilgore contribute $250 to the Oliver North campaign.  Kilgore has lots of plans with no idea of how to pay for anything.  I hope that the good people of Virginia open their eyes and realize that Kaine is the best candidate.
by Marie Smith 2005-10-17 04:36PM | 0 recs
Kaine needs to keep the hard work going
Kaine needs to keep up his momentum. I like the message of his rebuttal ads: "As a Christian, my faith tells me the death penalty is wrong. But I can separate my faith from my job...."

I'd love to see the dems put that message out EVERYWHERE. Jimmy Smits as Santos on "The West Wing" last nite had the message right. The rest of the dems need to follow suit!

by daninvirginia 2005-10-17 04:48PM | 0 recs
Now is the time to pour on the heat
If you live in Virginia, now is the time to pour on the heat.  Send letters to the Editor to every state paper praising Kaine and denouncing Kilgore.  If Kaine wins this race, it'll tar George Allen even before he's out the starting gate in 2008.  Further, being a former resident of Virginia (moved to PA this year), I wholeheartedly would like my old home state to elect somebody who will continue to provide good government and good governing.  Kaine will do that.

And if you live out of state, do all that you can to help Tim Kaine and the rest of the Democratic ticket.  Even a single dollar would be great!  Let's  win this one for ourselves!

by Matusleo 2005-10-17 05:00PM | 0 recs
I would LOVE to see a politician finally go down because he was too aggressive on the death penalty.

Also, maybe I'm overstating the significance.  But if Kaine wins then possibly, just possibly, this will cause some politicians to reconsider the disgraceful "slash and burn" technique of campaigning.

I'm watching the attack ads go back and forth in New Jersey, and I am just disgusted.

by JPhurst 2005-10-17 07:11PM | 0 recs
Kaine ads are running a lot more in Northern VA
I live in Northern Virginia, and I've seen a lot more of the Kaine ads on the air than the much- publicized Kilgore ads, which I've only seen a few times.  I'm not sure if this is because Kaine's making bigger ad buys in the Washington media market, where he needs to win by big margins to offset Kilgore's strength in rural areas, or if it's because I watch a lot more MSNBC than Fox News.  At any rate, for all the hype the Kilgore ads get in the media,  I haven't seen them on the air a whole lot.
by ctd72 2005-10-17 08:42PM | 0 recs
At the gym
In Arlington, when I do cardio in front of 8 big screen TVs, the Kilgore ads run constantly. Thankfully, Kaine runs his education ad and his rebuttal ad fairly constantly.

Kaine should not count out the rural folks. They have done better under Warner than they will under Kilgore. He needs to ad blitz the entire state. GOTV will really do him well here in NoVa, but he needs to sway folks all over the state. This will be a close one.

I am also disappointed that he isn't making more of the fact that Va went from being one of the worst-managed states in the nation, going down on its bond ratings under Gilmore, to being named the BEST MANAGED state in the country, getting the best bond rating, under Warner. Kaine needs to make that LOUD AND CLEAR in ads statewide, pointing out the benefits that come to the state in terms of economic development and quality of life when your state is well-run.

by daninvirginia 2005-10-18 02:20AM | 0 recs
I don't believe in the death penalty ...
... but I'd make an exception for Kilgore.

I live in northern Virginia and any time I watch any station except 22, 26 or 32, I see the hateful ads. Kilgore supports the death penalty and opposes defense lawyers. To support the one, and oppose the other, is to support the murder of innocents. Kilgore makes me want to vote for anybody, even Kaine, to stop Kilgore ...

... and unless armed guards block my way to the voting booth, I will.

by Left for the Left 2005-10-17 09:17PM | 0 recs
Let's win this damn thing
I'm always skeptical in unfriendly states, unless we have an exceptional candidate. Kaine doesn't qualify, but the last debate was my first extended look at Kilgore. What a weasel. Someone on another board correctly described Kilgore as an evil twist of Don Knotts and Mr. Rogers. The facial expressions and voice were even more repulsing than his commercials.

Last year we somehow lost to the likes of Tom Coburn and Lisa Murkowski and Jim DeMint. Please, not again.

by jagakid 2005-10-18 01:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Let's win this damn thing
Don' forget that they rode the anti-marriage amendments to victory in a swath of bigotry. I, frighteningly enough, cannot remember when Virginia's bigot-amendment hits the polls.... I think its 2006. Maybe that is why Warner won't run against Allen (besides his white house ambitions). That amendment will draw the worst of Virginia out in droves to vote.
by daninvirginia 2005-10-18 02:22AM | 0 recs


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