Wednesday, May 14, 2008

GOP played 'Wright' card in Mississippi, and lost

One wonders if the Republicans are smart enough to discern a pattern here: in two blood-red, deep south congressional districts, they tried to defend "safe" GOP House seats by tying the Democratic challenger to Barack Obama. In both elections, the tactic failed.

On May 3, Democrat Don Cazayoux beat Republican Woody Jenkins for the 6th District seat in Louisiana, formerly held by GOP House veteran Richard Baker. During the campaign, the NRCC and Freedom's Watch ran several ads that mentioned Obama (and Nancy Pelosi) as much as they did Cazayoux.

And in Mississippi's 1st Congressional District, Republican Greg Davis actually played the Jeremiah Wright card against Democrat Travis Childers.

Two elections in the deep south, two efforts to connect Democrats to Barack Obama, two Democratic victories.

It is clear that the Republicans are going to need a whole new strategy this year. The usual buzzwords, coded language, and guilt-by-association attacks just aren't cutting it.

The problem is, I can't think of what options they have. It's not as though they can abandon the smear-n-fear tactics in favor of campaigning on the issues.

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