How Nancy Boyda Won: Shutting Out the Dem Consultants
by RT, Sat May 05, 2007 at 04:48:53 AM EDT
Campaigns and Electionshas an online issue this month about the successes and failures of various 2006 campaigns. While it's somewhat marred by letting GOP/Lieberman partisans write some of the articles, the piece on Nancy Boyda's campaign is pretty good. Click on the link, then click forward to page 58. In a nutshell, she didn't let the party tell her what stands to take, or how to get her message across, and she won as a Democrat in Kansas. You knew that already, but the story adds a lot of depth and detail.
In 2004, Boyda let the DCCC tell her how to run a campaign, and lost by 15%. In 2006, they ignored the DCCC and its consultants, and ran a ground-up campaign that started with yard signs and billboards, advanced to 12- and 16-page inserts in a whole bunch of local papers across the district (cost for district-wide coverage for each insert: $25,000), and finally, locally-produced, non-cookie-cutter TV ads. In one such ad, a cat walks across the table in front of Boyda. Not exactly your scripted ad (try to script a cat!), but the different feel of her ads helped get people to notice them.
And Boyda addressed the issues aggressively, in particular taking a strong position against the Iraq war. As she said during the campaign, "the American people have to understand there aren't any good solutions. When you drive over a cliff, your options are very limited." It's hardly what a Rahm Emmanuel-picked candidate would have said, and that's probably why it worked.