McClatchy: Which Senate Candidate Can Appeal to the Base and Win in November?

March 25, 2014 9:05 am

by Jon Richards · 1 comment

David Lightman with McClatchy Newspapers has written yet another Georgia Senate candidate profile piece. You know what I’m talking about — the setup that provides the background of the race, the couple of paragraphs describing each candidate, and then the wrap up wondering what the outcome will be.

There have been plenty of these stories published over the last year, many using the theme of, “If the GOP base nominates Paul Broun/Phil Gingrey, will that provide the opportunity for Michelle Nunn to step in and put the seat in Democratic hands?”

Lightman’s piece is a little different. It assumes the major candidates don’t differ too much on the issues. Instead, it looks at how each one tries to appeal to voters, and asks which approach will both appeal to the grassroots and the voters who will have to choose between the eventual winner and Democrat Nunn in November.

Georgia’s next Republican Senate nominee is likely to triumph on style and strategy, and as a result, national eyes are watching this race as a harbinger of things to come for party hopefuls around the country this year.

The clenched-fist ardor that helped the tea party rise in 2010 has cooled, and while candidates and constituents retain the passion for a big Washington shakeup, for many the tone is gentler.

The candidates in the May 20 primary vary little on issues, but each vows to shake up Washington in their own unique way. The winning tactics are being watched closely as a template for Republicans in other states, Republicans scrambling to find the formula that will hold the conservative base without alienating crucial swing voters in November.

The other nice thing about this story is that it doesn’t just feature candidate quotes. It also features reaction from potential voters, including several Peach Pundit commenters. Give it a read, and let us know which approach you think works best in the comments.

Patrick T. Malone March 25, 2014 at 12:35 pm

I like the measured approach because it will attract the moderate middle where all general elections are won or lost. The purist approach scares too many people and those with no experience have too long of a “spooling up” to be effective in the short term.

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