Now, I already realize that after I post this, everyone on here’s going to go apes**t, but you know what, who gives a rat’s hat? After all, it’s just one big giant chess game, isn’t it? To the winner belong the spoils, may the best man win, and all that rot. Hence my post on the following: why Ralph Reed is going to win the Republican primary for Lt. Governor. I am not saying I endorse Ralph, nor am I even claiming to vote for him. In fact, should I have to put up with anymore pie- in-the-sky talk about Cagle or have to wait any more on Ralph to come up with a cognitive response, maybe I’ll just vote democratic, and be like all of Casey’s supporters (If Ralph’s the nominee I’ll vote for the Dem) (at this point tongue firmly implanted in cheek). To be honest, I hate both of them at this point. However, my passionate disdain for this whole entire race doesn’t change one thing: reality. There is one reality about this race, and the simple fact is that the Cagle machine doesn’t have what it takes to win. I’m going to take the liberty of copying something off of the website of a prominent Georgia consulting group, and use those very factors to show you why Casey will lose. Unfortunate thing for a good legislator, but that’s just the way the cookie crumbles.
Message. The message element of this campaign, as I see it, is pretty evenly matched. Each campaign has a fairly decent proposal, so far, from a policy perspective. However, I would say that the biggest factor in this aspect of the campaign is being overshadowed by the simple fact is that all Cagle’s supporters, and now even Cagle’s press releases, can focus on, is taking a swing at Ralph. But, then again, since we all know Casey and God stand for all the same things, it should be nice and cozy, shouldn’t it?
Money. This is where Cagle’s going to take the hardest hit. Right now, he’s trailing Reed fundraising by right around 750,000. It’s a widely held opinion that this next report will show Reed right at 1.9 million, and Casey has already been proudly boasting that he’s got 1 million in the bank. Also key to this equation is the rate at which money is being spent. Cagle is paying 5 full time staffers (http://caseycagle.com/contact.cfm), at least one consultant (www.southllc.com), a media group (www.stoneridgegroup.com). Ralph, on the other hand, only employs three full time staffers (one of whom is deferring payment, currently), one consultant, and a sole proprietor web designer. On the last expenditure, Reed reported spending approximately 101,000, while Cagle reported spending only 91,000. A 10k difference in expenditures, with a 650k difference in money raised? Ralph’s website cost him about 6k less than Cagle’s. There is a significantly different amount of overhead and day to day cost in the two campaigns. Not to mention the fact that Cagle seems to have made a large number of 1000.00 donations to certain state legislative political campaigns. I’ll forego mentioning the names as they’ve already been listed on the site previously today. Oh my GAWD, I just remembered: once January 9 hits, Casey CAN’T RAISE NO MORE MONEY FOR THREE MONTHS. Is he going to lay off his staff, and cease day to day operations for those three months? I highly doubt it. He’ll continue to spend money at an alarming rate, without raising, while Ralph continues to raise money and spend little. Not to mention the fact that the vast reserves he has in Washington (as his opponents claim) haven’t been touched.
Media. Three words: money buys media. When a campaign spends all it’s money on staff, collaterals, other campaign committees, and media group retainers, there’s not a lot of money left over. A media buy on Fox news in Atlanta, last time I checked, was around 35k. How many of those could Casey afford right now? Apparently, he’s been spending a pretty decent amount of money lately, and has it stopped Ralph from raising money? Nope. Has it stopped him from:
Organization? Nope. Went to a grassroots meeting last week at one of his rural locations. Big stuff. Nuff said. Plus the fact that one of the Senate leaders ( DID say, as Tater suggested earlier, that Ralph would clearly win this race. It stands to reason that once that fact is clearly established, that the Senate leadership will go where they logically should. I’m not advocating that they will, just saying it would make sense if they did. RR06 has been hosting grassroots trainings and event all around the state, albeit stealthily, and is forming an organization that will closely mirror the organization he led at the State Party during the Republican turnover in 2002.
I’m going to add in one more element, perhaps the most volatile and important, and perhaps where the most momentum is swinging in Reed’s favor: Strategy. Had Ralph continued to be baited by the John McCain/Casey Cagle/David Shafer/Atlanta Journal Constitution/New York Times conspiracy, he would have simply continued to fan that flames that did, and still do, have the potency to kill him. However, he did not, in what I believe is one of the most brilliant campaign moves I’ve ever seen. He let it die. 6 out of 10 people do not know who is running in this race, and of those 4 left over, 1 actually cares about those little details, and 0 changed their minds as a result. So what does the race logically come down to? Whoever leaves the best, most powerful, convincing message in the minds of the voters. As it stands, Cagle is building the foundation to sully his image as a mudslinger without vision, regardless of the pretty pictures and catchy, sugar coated rhetoric on his website. Ralph Reed and Tim Phillips seem to be biding their time, and I believe that will be their salvation.