Secret Campaign Strategy? She’s Got Nunn

July 28, 2014 12:34 pm

by Scarlet Hawk · 51 comments

Whoops.  It looks like Nunn’s campaign strategy got leaked to National Review.  The entire campaign plan is below the fold.  Enjoy!


Update: I had to take the full article down.  Copyright and all that jazz.  So I’ll hit the highlights and leave the documents below.

Nunn’s campaign seems to focus on key demographics, “— Jews, Asians, African Americans, Latinos, and gays — that are essential to a Democratic victory”.  The campaign elaborates on each of these in frank terms throughout the documents, indicated that certain ones are better for fundraising purposes than others, and that the Atlanta media will overall favor the campaign over Perdue.  It also focuses on some frank criticism of the candidate in order for her to overcome her outside-the-state image and even identifies various folks by name.

While the strategy isn’t actually all that newsy, the document itself is and the targeting of certain groups identifies that Democrats have little plan to win over voters in the state other than the shifting demographics.  Nonetheless, a misstep in the campaign and one the Perdue campaign can no doubt be celebrating.

Here’s the link to the entire article.




therightdirection July 28, 2014 at 12:42 pm

LOL at them expecting preferred treatment from the media.

Media bias is GOP paranoia, they say.

George Chidi July 28, 2014 at 4:55 pm

No, it’s still paranoia. They’re not expecting preferred treatment. They’re expecting the same lapdog treatment everyone gets these days from the press.

Ralph July 28, 2014 at 12:55 pm

Nothing surprising – just fun to see in writing from her side. Everyone knows the liberal Atlanta media is behind Nunn and will do puff pieces on her and deflect/ignore anything negative. Perdue and GOP interest group TV ads will still reach most low information voters, and more informed voters read from other sources and will watch debates.

90% of voters do so by party, so the campaign will be targeting that remaining 10% along with their base in an attempt to bolster turnout. Women in that last 10% will likely break for Nunn. The GOP has a bigger base and a turnout advantage in this mid-term election. Perdue should win by a comfortable margin.

NorthGAGOP July 28, 2014 at 12:57 pm

How does this get leaked?

Bridget Cantrell July 28, 2014 at 1:42 pm

FINALLY – transparency and straightforward communication 😉

Let’s everyone please read it in detail and get everything out of our systems so that we can get to work on the real issues.

Bridget Cantrell July 28, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Politicos: if you’re honest, none of you have ever seen a campaign laid out this well.

Michelle Nunn completely has her s#!t together. Reading this has somehow made me like her even more. You read this and see exactly where you fit into the big picture and where you can help.

Michelle, take this kind of planning and organization to DC and get that mess cleaned up.

ryanhawk July 28, 2014 at 2:29 pm

Leaked Game Plan = Transparency? That’s certainly an optimistic view of the events.

But as you say, let’s get to the real news: Has a position on Israel been determined yet or is the fundraiser coming together a little more slowly than anticipated?

therightdirection July 28, 2014 at 3:20 pm

The Israel position isn’t out yet…still checking with the Hamas front group to determine next move.

Bobloblaw July 28, 2014 at 8:50 pm

That’s the most disturbing. Her position will depend on how much money jews give her.

rwlee2 July 28, 2014 at 3:49 pm

Anyone worth their weight in salt routinely engages in this level of planning AND doesn’t allow this documentation to get into the public eye…

LoyaltyIsMyHonor July 28, 2014 at 1:51 pm

Wow, did you just reprint the entire article here? Isn’t that considered poor blogging etiquette?

Probably better to post some snippets then post the link. I’m sure the National Review would appreciate the page views.

Scarlet Hawk July 28, 2014 at 2:16 pm

Yep. Totes correct. I saw the article and posted immediately without giving any analysis. National review appreciates your good manners.

objective July 28, 2014 at 1:54 pm

nothing new with those demographic or fundraising positions. in fact, it’s the kind of broad campaign advice i think even mediocre professionals could give.
it’s awful nice of the campaign to leak what will apparently be core points for perdue’s opp research.
i smell a mole.

Baker July 28, 2014 at 1:59 pm

What about a link to the National Review article?

Scarlet Hawk July 28, 2014 at 2:16 pm

Hope my update makes you happy :).

Stefan July 28, 2014 at 2:31 pm

This memo really brings me back. So much of the individual memos are regurgitated from campaign to campaign, but they demonstrate a level of competence that you have to go pretty high to reach. I prefer unvarnished discussion of affiliate groups, others not so much. There is a ton here to stick into attack ads though. You just regurgitate the negative quotes.

Also, the updated analysis for December, “not enough fundraising time, too much time spent on office management” is like every campaign ever.

Bridget Cantrell July 28, 2014 at 7:12 pm

Stefan, I’m curious.. do you see this as a big deal?

Stefan July 29, 2014 at 1:38 am

Yeah, it’s a big deal. It isn’t fatal by any means, but it makes Perdue’s job a bit easier. Nunn might have to go up on tv a little earlier and raise slightly more money to do so.

objective July 28, 2014 at 2:46 pm

it is more professionally detailed than i gave credit for above.

griftdrift July 28, 2014 at 3:15 pm

If I were a Republican operative, I’d temper some of that glee with the thought of “holy crap, it looks like they’re serious this time”.

Jon Richards July 28, 2014 at 4:40 pm

Good observation. Unfortunately, many will have an attitude like Ralph’s in his comment above. Others will think that it’s an incompetent campaign because the plan got leaked.

If anything, the GOP should remember that this was written back in December, and is likely out of date.

Spacey G July 29, 2014 at 11:27 am

That whole data scrubbing up of phone numbers and records and stuff thing exhausted me. Do volunteers to campaigns have those kinda dreary housekeeping nasty duties to perform? Remind me never to volunteer for anything.

George Chidi July 28, 2014 at 3:59 pm

I’m a delegate to the state convention next week. I’m reading the memo. And I am … grumpy.

For example, I note that this campaign is relying on Black and Latino voters to win, that nonwhite voters will likely compose a majority of Nunn’s support. And I’m trying to get past noticing that every single member listed on the team’s voter protection working group, the group that is ostensibly supposed to protect Black and Latino voters from intimidation and poll shenanigans … is white. Every. Single. One.

This is transparently stupid and insulting.

The list of policy issues is impressive. The order will be questioned. As will the fact that, as I’m looking through the impressive list of policy experts helping Nunn craft her stand and her message, almost none of them are black. Stacey Abrams is listed as a policy adviser, with no portfolio at all. The experts are less racially diverse than a Republican convention hall. Old white guys and young white women. They’re the people that are floating in Nunn’s social and political circle … which is to say that she wants black votes but doesn’t want to take advice from too many of them. We’ll let you pick up the phones and hold signs and smile in photo ops, but don’t expect us to take your advice.


dsean July 28, 2014 at 4:21 pm

Isn’t your last paragraph pretty much every white Democratic politician in the United States?

“Vote for me and take a photo with me, then shut up and go away for 2/4/6 years?”

How else do you explain the positions of the Democratic Party that are just awful for black America (see e.g. amnesty)?

George Chidi July 28, 2014 at 8:50 pm

Immigration reform is good for America — black and white.

Bobloblaw July 28, 2014 at 8:54 pm

No it’s horrible. And Barbara Jordan knew that.

dsean July 29, 2014 at 9:57 am

I don’t disagree that immigration reform can be good, but the amnesty of low-skill workers disproportionately harms black Americans, driving down wages and creating another barrier to economic advancement. Unfortunately, there is a skills and education gap in this country that results in a greater proportion of black Americans relying on low skill employment (not to mention the horrible effects of the Drug War). I’d also argue that Democratic policies, particularly support for teachers unions and opposition to educational innovations like charter schools, disproportionately harm black Americans and directly lead to the skills gap.

My general point though is that white Democratic politicians can ignore black voters because black voters tend to vote in a block for Democratic candidates. The Dems don’t have to fight for the votes or justify their positions. So why would they?

Charlie July 28, 2014 at 4:23 pm

I’ve asked George to move this up to the front page.

140 pages of document, there’s so many discussions/narratives about how this campaign will play out, as well as how Democratic operatives view Georgia/us. We’ll likely need to break them down into bits like this to hash it all out.

George Chidi July 28, 2014 at 4:38 pm

I think your emails are dumping out into a strange account. I’m gchidi (at) or george (at)

Spacey G July 29, 2014 at 11:29 am

That whole data scrubbing up of phone numbers and records and stuff alone exhausted me. Do volunteers to campaigns have those kinda dreary housekeeping nasty duties to perform? Remind me never to volunteer for anything.

Ralph July 28, 2014 at 4:27 pm

@ George Chidi – The black vote is 90% Democratic, so it is taken for granted – no need for black advisors, experts, or in Nunn’s political and social circles. Just hold those signs and get out the black vote the best you can.

Bobloblaw July 28, 2014 at 9:32 pm


South Fulton Guy July 28, 2014 at 4:21 pm
Jon Richards July 28, 2014 at 4:47 pm

SFG, I think you’ve been around long enough to know that bare links to other publications without context are frowned on around here. We love to have you share your opinion. And if Kyle Wingfield would like to join us, that would be great too. But for you to share his opinion is not the way to go.

South Fulton Guy July 28, 2014 at 6:31 pm

REALLY Jon?? I do not think I am the first person to share an AJC link. Focus on the facts in the content and not the opinion and save the lecture for someone that deserves it.

Bridget Cantrell July 28, 2014 at 5:25 pm


I disagree with KW that this was a bad day for Michelle Nunn’s candidacy and campaign.

“Know Thyself.” I don’t think any candidate should get into a race without thoroughly knowing their faults/criticisms and having a plan for how to address them when brought up by an opponent. Own it. There’s a lot to be said for someone who isn’t taken by surprise.

lol, Paul Bennecke writes Perdue’s winning strategy in 7 tweets. The details of Michelle’s plan might tick off George C, but it gives voters like myself confidence that Michelle knows what she’s doing.

South Fulton Guy July 28, 2014 at 6:32 pm

Bridget the fact is she does not publicly own it.

Bridget Cantrell July 28, 2014 at 6:51 pm

Oh c’mon…. I’ll say it – What if this wasn’t leaked by a traitor?

Now that I have time to truly read it tonight there are some really funny troll comments in there. “In all probability, the GOP candidates lack the capacity to scrutinize each other this closely, so it will fall to our campaign to highlight electorally important comments and positions.”

The sooner negative info gets out there, the sooner the damage control can put it in the backs of the minds of voters. What, like she wants Barney Fife to stumble upon something the week before the election? Let’s just get it out now. Rip the band-aid and drop everything at one time instead of a negative press ooze that Nathan Deal is battling right now.

Kate Fowler July 28, 2014 at 4:25 pm

I just love it when life imitates The West Wing:

analogkid July 28, 2014 at 5:21 pm

3+ months to go in this campaign, and I’m already weary of the Nunn puns (or “punns,” if we must).

Lea Thrace July 28, 2014 at 5:28 pm

Would you say that you’re Nunnplussed about the punnery?

*hangs head in shame*

I’ll see myself out.

analogkid July 28, 2014 at 6:03 pm

Et tu, Lea? :)

Joseph July 28, 2014 at 7:25 pm

Based on the responses here and the summary National Review provides, looks like there is nothing here but generic campaign boilerplate from Democratic operatives / consultants, nothing that really provides an “AHA, this is how she beats -insert generic R here-” in a way that’s never been thought of before.

In my opinion, this will be an effort of who can spend the most money on TV (and radio, of course) and who can avoid saying something dumb.

I’d like to hope our GOP efforts at Minority Outreach will take root more quickly than we expect., but I realize those efforts are a long-term play, not one that is a game changer in 2014.

rwlee2 July 28, 2014 at 8:21 pm

…throwing in radio in the big hopes there, JB?? 😉

The Last Democrat in Georgia July 28, 2014 at 10:27 pm

This “leak” is not accidental, it is likely a purposeful diversion to attempt to make Republicans think that Nunn’s campaign is focusing on minority voters at the expense of white voters while also appealing directly to minority voters….A Machiavellian political play that GOPers shouldn’t be fooled by.

Spacey G July 29, 2014 at 10:21 am

I gotta wonder how my (numerous) Facebook friends feel about their assigned roles and stereotypes found all through the leaked Nunn campaign doc.

Bridget Cantrell July 29, 2014 at 10:32 am

Spacey –

Michelle has a viable chance to win. She’s done nothing unethical and demonstrates very competent leadership skills. I don’t understand why Dems finally have the ability to get a candidate in a high office, and they’re attacking their own over… hurt feelings. Is this “lack of respect” you feel more important to you than winning an election? My “lack of respect” from the GOP caused me to leave them. Will you be leaving the Dem party? If not (even if you can’t heartily endorse her), why are you piling on?

Spacey G July 29, 2014 at 1:26 pm

Clearly you have confused me for having some sort of affiliation or loyalty with/to the DPG. I have none whatsoever. Nor any to the Democratic Party. Never given a dime to any party. No worries. It happens every now and then.

I’m mostly upset with whatever utter dipsh*t leaked this memo. And I’ll find out, soon, who did. They’ve already inspired keyboard pounding by Huttman and Chidi that could rival a small yet deadly earthquake. And the leaker will need to be held accountable for that. First.

Stefan July 29, 2014 at 1:47 pm

Do we know it was leaked? I assume RSCC gave it to the national review.

Spacey G July 29, 2014 at 3:18 pm

No one seems to know. But when I find out, and I will, I’ll let you know. In the meantime the “Communications Plan” part of leaked memo will need to be amended with a bit about what to do about leaked memos. I suggest the insertion of this line, “Campaign memos. Do not leak them. Ever.” Should suffice.

benevolus July 29, 2014 at 8:40 pm

“Or else”.

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