What Comes Around

The other day a friend sent a post he asked me to put up on why the race is Reed’s. Today, a friend who supports Cagle asks the same and I gladly oblige.

You can read this perspective below the fold.

Unlike the anonymous poster of the memo arguing that Ralph Reed will win, I’ll begin by being honest: I am a Casey Cagle supporter. However, I work in politics and I would not be backing Casey unless I was absolutely certain of a victory. Following are the reasons why Casey Cagle will win this race.

Message: The fact is, Ralph Reed and Casey Cagle have both put forward broad policy proposals. In both campaigns, the message is straightforward mainstream conservative policy that would be right at home on the Heritage Foundation webpage. On policy, the only real difference is that Reed supports a watered-down amnesty program for illegal aliens while Cagle is adamantly opposed to allowing anyone here illegally now to stay. The primary difference is that Casey actually as a record, and it’s as rock-solid, mainstream conservative as they come. People don’t have to wonder how Casey will behave in office, because they already know. Voters can be certain he has the experience to do the job because he is already the second longest serving Republican member of the State Senate. By contrast, Reed has never held any public office before. Georgia voters have stated a clear preference for experienced leadership time and again. With both campaigns staking out conservative policy positions, Cagle’s experience and record give him a solid edge on Reed.

Trust: In elections for executive branch positions, no single trait matters more than trust. Cagle has done nothing to give voters a reason to question his integrity. Reed, on the other hand, made some awful choices in terms of the clients he chose to deal with as a lobbyist. But more importantly, instead of being honest about those choices, Reed compounded the difficult situation in which he found himself immeasurably by refusing to tell the truth. By concocting lie after lie, Reed and his team singlehandedly fueled months of negative press that dogs them today. The Reed team’s first instinct in any situation continues to be to lie, even when it makes virtually no political sense. And, the policy Reed has set of refusing all media interviews and keeping his schedule hidden from the public is doing nothing to make anything better. The bottom line here is that unless Reed can recover some trust among voters – and he’s rapidly losing the time he needs to do that – it won’t matter how hard he hits Cagle because he won’t have the credibility to make the attacks stick. The proof of this reality is that polling shows the race to be neck in neck (InsiderAdvantage, Zogby), even though Cagle currently has half of Reed’s NameID. That situation only becomes more severe as Cagle continues to raise his name idea, and convert positive ID to votes at a rate twice Reed’s.

Electability: A significant section of the GOP electorate places a high priority on winning this election in the fall. Zogby’s polling shows that Reed loses the general against a generic Democrat, while Cagle wins by several points. Activists and donors are already realizing that a vote for Ralph Reed is a vote for the Democrat nominee in the fall. This is causing particularly grassroots actvists to move rapidly to Cagle.

Building the Party: Not only does Reed lose on his own, he also drags down other candidates. The most recent InsiderAdvantage poll shows Reed shaving EIGHT POINTS from Sonny Perdue’s margin, simply by being on the ballot with him. Reed has become a way for Democrats across the country to lower the margins of their Republican opponents. Cagle is a common-sense, mainstream conservative in the tradition of Isakson, Chambliss, and Perdue – who will continue to steadily grow the party. All Ralph Reed does is appeal to an increasingly narrow (+/- 10%) portion of the GOP base. He brings nothing new to the table other than lower numbers for any candidate unfortunate enough to be on the ballot with him. This is already causing Republican operatives from the White House to the State Capitol to begin quietly working to support Cagle. Plus, the Perdue team already hates Reed because he spent his entire tenure at the state GOP screwing them out of support, which is why he was quietly told not to bother running for a second term.

Fundraising: Reed began the race with a wide fundraising advantage. Cagle, however, has steadily closed that gap to the point that it is ceasing to exist. The Cagle campaign continues to hold down expenses, while Reed is being forced to subsidize his failing consulting firm by siphoning off campaign funds. And, because Reed refuses to travel more than an hour without flying, the campaign is incurring huge fees in aircraft rentals. In the most recent fundraising period, Reed was unable to improve his competitive advantage even though he had three months to Cagle’s single day of legal fundraising. Right now, Reed has enough extra money to buy one more week of metro TV than Cagle. However, Reed had only one successful fundraiser last quarter, and has announced none this quarter. Cagle, on the other hand, has already raised an additional $100k and has 10 fundraisers upcoming.

Endorsements: Reed began this race leading everyone to believe he would reel in major endorsements. However, the White House has refused to get involved on his behalf. Further, the President has personally committed to more than one member of the Georgia congressional delegation that he will not allow any member of his staff to become involved with Reed. By contrast, Cagle has far exceeded expectations. The majority of Republicans in both houses of the legislature have endorsed him, as has virtually every sheriff, county commission chairman, and mayor in the top GOP counties. These people bring real grassroots networks to the table, and Cagle will leverage those networks to win.

Grassroots: The Cagle campaign has followed the Johnny Isakson strategy of building a grassroots network built around people who are real community leaders (bank presidents, little league coaches, local officials, church deacons, etc). Reed has relied mostly on picking up super-activists in local GOP party structures with – let’s be honest – a lot of loose screws. These people are not going to help him reach undecided voters; in fact they will most likely scare them off. In any event, Cagle has been surprisingly successful at picking up support from the more level-headed and normal members of the local party structure. And, Reed’s claim that he has recruited 6,000 activists is simply fictitious – just ask the dozens of clients he bilked by claiming to produce crowds that never showed up.

Skill: The Reed campaign’s expertise is centered almost exclusively in one person, and unfortunately for them, that person is the candidate himself. Reed’s campaign manager has never even worked on a statewide race before (much less run one), and is simply not capable of managing the nuts and bolts of an operation that can penetrate 159 counties. His consultant, Tim Phillips, is focused primarily on moving his family to Washington where he has already accepted a position running a national grassroots group. This leaves Reed with no experienced hands on deck, and as he should know – it is impossible for the candidate to do his job and simultaneously deliver the perspective and judgment it takes to consult effectively. Cagle, on the other hand, has three staff members with statewide wins under their belts in the last cycle. His media consultant produced spots that won for Price, Gingrey, Westmoreland and numerous others. And, Cagle’s pollster consults for GOP candidates at the top of the pile, including Governor Schwarzenegger. The core difference here is that Cagle has enough sense to hire smart people and listen to them, while Ralph’s ego won’t allow him to believe he needs advice from anyone.

Cohesiveness: Cagle’s team is absolutely committed to winning this race because they understand Ralph Reed is a vindictive operative, and they really believe in their candidate. Of any campaign I’ve ever been exposed to, the cohesiveness – and lack of backstabbing – on Cagle’s team is just impressive. It comes from starting out as the underdog and having to fight hard for everything they’ve gotten. Reed’s folks, on the other hand, realize their candidate won’t remember their names after the race is over. They are demoralized, tired of getting hit, and playing to save face. The race they expected to be a coronation has turned into a dogfight, and they don’t have the dedication, work ethic, or experience to win it.

For these reasons, Cagle will continue doing exactly what he has been doing – beating expectations and winning this race. Ralph Reed had his day, and that day is over.

28 comments

  1. Jack S says:

    Finally some common sense perspective on this race.

    erick, your “anonymous friend”/Reed worshipper is a moron.

    this guy, whoever he is, spells it out real clear. Hope you Reed kool aide drinkers are paying attention. It’s how a real campaign is run.

  2. Maurice Atkinson says:

    Even an ADD adult can read this. I don’t agree with everything, but the overall assessment is in my opinion accurate.

    Isakson never ran a grassroots campaign statewide, but he was effective in his marketing. The Georgia real estate community’s generic ads thanking Johnny, that ran continuously from January until the campaign ads hit were what softened the landscape.

    Cagle IS running a statewide grassroots campaign and is superbly organized. His campaign team and consultants are effective and innovative. I’m very impressed

  3. debbie0040 says:

    You Cagle guys just keep thinking that 🙂 July 18th will determine who is right in their assessment. But I truly believe you guys will know before July 18th who is going to emerge victorious. Just wait until it all comes together.

  4. larry smith says:

    I just can’t believe you would still support this guy after he totally sold you out on amnesty for illegal aliens and then lied about it, Debbie.

  5. debbie0040 says:

    He did not sell us out. When he made those statements, he was representing the Bush campaign. I asked him a year ago how he felt on illegal immigration. I did not give him any indication of how I felt. He said he was against illegal immigration and amnesty.

    I am not a person that just takes someone at their word..

  6. SOUTHERNCOMFORT says:

    JUST IN… IT’S OFFICIAL THE EASTER BUNNY HAS ENDORSED CAGLE AND KEMP ADD HIM TO THE GROWING LIST……

  7. debbie0040 says:

    Reed was speaking as Southeas Chair of the Bush Campaign. That is not too hard for the average person to understand.

    As for Cagle, when he voted with the Gov. Barnes and the Democrats on the Drivers License Bill, was it because he caved in to Barnes or was it because he did not care if non citizens received government services they were not entitled to?

  8. larry smith says:

    So, when Ralph went on national television and said he thought amensty for 12 million illegal aliens was a “responsible policy,” that’s ok because he was lying to cover for someone who was paying him?

    Besides, the election was over when he said that. There was no more “Bush Campaign.”

    Somehow Johnny Isakson, Charlie Norwood and others had the backbone to stand up to the President at that time. Ralph just didn’t have the guts to do it.

  9. debbie0040 says:

    The election was not over at that time. check your dates. You did not answer my question about Cagle

  10. SOUTHERNCOMFORT says:

    Larry, don’t waste your time trying to bring forward the truth or rationale with the koolaide drinkers. The only thing that will work is reality and that will set in sometime early evening on July 18th.

  11. tobin smith says:

    What b.s. Did Joel right this? I love how things are stated as fact that are not in the relm of reality. This race will go down in history and will be studied for all the b.s. and attacks that have come from the Cagle people. If this is where Republicans have come in the state of GA, then we do not deserve to win.

    Although I have said previously that I will vote for Casey if he wins, I am having second thoughts. There is no way Casey rased 100k in one day. It had to have been going on throughout the session. That nut George Anderson ought to do a probe of this.

    I have to give it to Joel and Shafer. They have built a campaign out of their alliance with the liberal media that otherwise would have gone no where. But it will not be enough. Reed will beat Cagle easily when Cagle’s record is given the scrutiny of day light.

  12. Demonbeck says:

    tobin,

    If you think your write/right error was the only mistake in that post, then I can understand why you would be a Reed supporter.

    J/K

  13. SOUTHERNCOMFORT says:

    Tobin, wait until you see what is raised in the upcoming weeks. You guys wonder why your numbers are falling ….listen to yourself. You all sound like spoil children…. but I guess that’s the template your following. You guys will go negative, everyone knows that’s Ralphie’s mode of operandi however times have changed and we’re ready.

  14. Karla Stuckey says:

    Rumor around D.C. GA Republicans this morning is that something major is about to hit Cagle in the ethics department.

    Can’t wait for the fun to begin. We’ve been hearing for some time that there are some juicy things out there on Cagle.

    Anyone have a clue what the details are or when it will break?

  15. debbie0040 says:

    I am sure before it is over, there will be quite a few things to come as a suprise to Cagle supporters.

    I don’t know what this could be. Do you hear ethics complaint being filed or just where Cagle’s conduct was unethical?

  16. debbie0040 says:

    I know in 2004 Cagle voted to send the Tort Reform Package to a committee where the chairman had openly bragged he would kill it, but that is old news.

  17. SOUTHERNCOMFORT says:

    you guys,you guys….. you wish you had something …..not going to happen. For once Ralphie has got to stand up and fight an honest fight and it will prove to big of a task for him to pull off.Quit trying to bring down aN honorable man to your guy’s level, remember when RR loses you will have to save face, make it easy on yourself and stick to the facts…..or don’t… the end will be the same a Cagle victory….

  18. Brian from Ellijay says:

    Karla, You do not get it. We in Ga do not care what the “rumors going around DC are.” DC insiders do not vote in GA. Sorry.

    BTW, Vote Allen 2008

  19. Former Cagle Guy says:

    I use to be for Cagle, but have learned enough and switched to Reed. I don’t like the fact that Cagle used his banking committee position to feather his own nest. I also don’t like the fact that he has missed some key votes, such as eminent domain, and caved into Roy Barnes when the Democrats were still in control.

    I like Casey personally, but when I heard both Cagle and Reed speak at the same event, it was clear who was both the best speaker, had the best vision, and who articulated most clearly conservative issues.

    Plus look at the lobbyists he is beholden to:

    http://www.ethics.state.ga.us/GAEthics/Reports/Lobbyist/Lobbyist_byExpenditures.aspx?LastName=&POName=Cagle&GroupName=&Association=&DateFrom=&DateTo=&Amount=&Description=

    I don’t know about most Georgia Republican primary voters, but I don’t get many $100+ dinners in order to get a vote in the Senate.

    Cagle is slick and not even that great of a talker.

    Reed’s vision is about what I think true Republicans stand for.

  20. debbie0040 says:

    Brian, you are saying that just because they work in D.C. they lose the right to vote in Georgia? I guess that would come as news to the Congressmen and their congressional aides.

    We do care if the rumors are true. Come on, the Cagle Camp has been circulating rumors for months that Reed was going to be indicted.

    It will be quite a bumpy ride for you Cagle supporters. Fasten your seat belts.

  21. Demonbeck says:

    Actually Debbie, if they live in DC, they can get restitution to vote in Georgia. I think, though, that only works for so long. If they live in VA or MD, they cannot continue to vote in GA after a certain amount of time.

    So technically, yes, just because they work in DC, they could actually lose the right to vote in GA. I doubt that more than 1% of the President’s staff is able to vote in GA. I also doubt that – excluding GA staff and the Members – a large majority of our Congressional staffs actually can vote in the districts they so ably represent.

    If you and Ralph Reed are counting on votes from DC to put him over the top in this primary, then I am fairly certain that you are in for a rude awakening.

  22. Tater Tate says:

    Been away for a while, but seems as if you boys and girls have kept the fires warm in my absence.

    All I know is that Reed holds on strong in South Georgia where I am from and some state senators are in hot water with some of their grass roots folks for their letter saying Reed should drop out. Down here we believe the voters ought to pick the candidates, not fat-cats in smoked filled back rooms eating caviar paid for by lobbyists.

    Debbie, I don’t know where you came from, but thank God for you. There are too many Cagle whinners on this blog and that’s the reason I don’t come around as often. Same 50 folk saying the same thing. Cagle is great and Reed is trash. No substance and no facts.

    Reed is a born leader and I think people instinctively see that when he speaks. Cagle, on the other hand, seems uncomfortable and uneasy and it just don’t come across as sincere. Too fake and glitsy for me, like his ads and his website.

    Reed is my man and I am proud to be one of many of his grassroots guys in South Georgia. With Reed we secure a Republican dynasty in Georgia. With Cagle permanent boredom.

    Back to the cows.

  23. SOUTHERNCOMFORT says:

    I don’t know what part of south Ga you are from TATERTATE but you need to stick with the cows.I’m from south Ga and I’m not hearing that at all. From main street to the barber shops all I’m hearing is Reed and Jimmy Swaggert comparisons. You guys are going to look like cows staring at a new gate come July 18!

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