How Nancy Boyda Won: Shutting Out the Dem Consultants

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.

Tags: 2006, boyda, campaign, Congress, consultants, Democratic Party, kansas (all tags)

Comments

10 Comments

Re: How Nancy Boyda Won: Shutting Out the Dem Cons

I wonder if Darcy Burner learned the same lesson-- I've not read it anywhere.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-05-05 07:06AM | 0 recs
Or how about Tammy Duckworth

Gee, do you think she might have had the credibility to take a really strong position against the Iraq War (while her opponent accused her of wanting to "cut and run" -- not an easy thing to do with no legs!)? Thanks to Rahm, we may never find out if she would have won her race that way. I guess her strong stand on the Alternative Minimum Tax just didn't have the same resonance (thanks Rahm, you putz!).

by Jim in Chicago 2007-05-05 03:43PM | 0 recs
Re: How Nancy Boyda Won: Shutting Out the Dem Cons

Just read the article - it was a fascinating read, to say the least. I do agree that Nancy Boyda's victory probably had quite a bit to do with telling the DCCC to back off. On the other hand, though, let's not discount the many mistakes that Ryun made during this campaign. It seems like he did a lot of stupid things during the campaign that backfired on him.

by PsiFighter37 2007-05-05 07:48AM | 0 recs
Re: How Nancy Boyda Won: Shutting Out the Dem Cons

Speaking of Ryun, it looks as though he's running for his old seat again.  He's going to have primary competition and won't nearly be as well funded of a candidate.  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-05-05 09:00AM | 0 recs
Newspaper inserts rock

I think there is one big lesson from the Boyda race that really help the 50-state/435 district strategy.

Run newspaper inserts - Inserts give weight to your candidates positions and even if people don't read the inserts they will hear about them. It makes it much harder to dismiss a candidate who has a series of multipage newspaper inserts. The newsprint itself is tangible even if it's used to line birdcages. A voter who hears Dem Candidate X is a loon, lightweight, dunce, etc. from the opposition will have the insert in the back of their mind even if they haven't read it.

More on Boyda and her inserts below from the Topeka Capital Journal.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn 4179/is_20061108/ai_n16827467

by joejoejoe 2007-05-06 12:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Newspaper inserts rock

I think the real lesson is even deeper: there are a lot of ways for a candidate to communicate with voters, and there's nothing magical about broadcast TV.  Like Boyda said in the article you linked to, "people in Kansas listen to the 6 o'clock farm report."  

To run a go-at-'em-everywhere strategy, which we want to keep on doing, there are always going to be underfunded campaigns in difficult districts.  And a candidate and his/her staff have to understand the district well enough to know how to get the message across, and to reach targeted groups in a cost-effective manner, whether that means radio, cable TV, newspaper inserts, billboards, or whatever.

A D.C. consultant won't know how to do this.  The candidate has a better chance of figuring this out for herself, as Boyda demonstrated last fall.

by RT 2007-05-07 09:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Burner

If Burner wants to beat Reichert this time around, she definitely needs a change in strategy.

by DemGenii 2007-05-05 03:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Burner

what did burner do wrong? i didn't realize she was so canned..

by tzfoley 2007-05-06 01:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Burner - See washblog dustup

there is an extensive diary, heavily commented, about Darcy on www.washblog.com

WARNING WARNING WARNING

there is ... disagreement! and in the northwest, and for a LOT of bloggers,

non-group-think = disagreement = conflict = AHH! FREAK OUT!

for those of you who can handle disagreement, you'll find a lot of good perspectives, including a statement from Ms. Burner !

rmm.

by seabos84 2007-05-06 11:51AM | 0 recs
Burner - See washblog dustup

I forgot the url !
duh.

http://www.washblog.com/story/2007/4/30/ 14452/1999

by seabos84 2007-05-06 11:53AM | 0 recs

Diaries

Advertise Blogads