Why didn't David Vitter get out the vote, given his resources and execution, this past Saturday, election day? Can David Vitter continue his normal plan, to link his opponent to Obama? Can Jon Bel Edwards convince the electorate that he is a different type of democrat? Does Vitter have enough votes among those in the core-conservative voters, or will he need to moderate to peel off enough voters from his former opponents?
What was impact of the prostitution, spy, car accident controversies--the last week events?
Who will do the best at definiing each other's opponents? Voters want to hear issues, but, do the candidates want to discuss them and so, will we hear them?
These are some of the issues Jim Brown, UNO professor Ed Chervenak and Bayoubuzz publisher Stephen Sabludowsky discussed in a recent post-election Google Hangout discussion.
CHERVENAK: No I agree, and I know that I club this over the head-- but get out the vote is going to be very important. This is what I was surprise, I would've thought that with all of the money, David Vitter had, he would have had a more robust get-out- the-vote ground game. Kind of included in the fundamentals,but it did not seem to happen
BROWN: But Republicans don't get out the vote,they make up their minds, and they vote. In running different elections and seven statewide, the Democrats when they are on, primarily in the African-American community. Vitter, had people on street corners all over Baton Rouge, his social media efforts, there were the Robo calls coming in, I'm not sure what he could do to get more of his vote out. All three together were able to get 60% out, so I don't think that Vitter could have done much more quite frankly. I think he's going to get the lion share of both of his opponents votes, but it's not going to reach 50%. And I think it is John Bell Edwards, I don't think that Vitter can do a heck of a lot more, going to hear Obama-Edwards, Obama-Edwards. If I were a consultant, I would, the real challenge, what can we do in the Edwards camp to convince enough voters that he is an independent who is not going to kowtow to Washington in any way and that he is going to be his own man. I like the saying in the paper Steve, I think it was yesterday's paper, where he talked about the fact that he got through West Point and that nobody lies at West Point
SABLUDOWSKY: Yes that was a great line
BROWN: That David Vitter would not last five minutes at West Point. I think that's a pretty good line, not playing party roles or anything, hitting in a very positive way, taking a hit at Vitter. So the great strategy is going to be in the Edwards camp--can he pull it off.
SABLUDOWSKY; Just thinking out loud for second, Vitter is the conservative, no question about that and he does get the conservative vote--no doubt about that. The conservative vote, the real, real, the strong conservative vote, in my opinion is roughly 25 to 30%, maybe 35% of the total vote
(Chervenak shakes head in agreement)
SABLUDOWSKY: And so I'm saying roughly--so in order for him to win, he's going to have to get 4 to 6% maybe of the African-American vote, that's why I think he had two or three Blacks on stage with them Saturday night
CHERVENAK: when I look at the numbers, he only got about 1% of the African American vote
SABLUDOWSKY: okay, so he was over represented on the stage
SABLUDOWSKY: So in addition to that, basically, he needs to go into the middle because where he is now he's not going to win. There is no way he is going to win. The Republicans are going to be loyal to him but only those people, in my opinion, who are really really staunch Republicans. He's going to have to moderate and when he does that and basically when he does that he's going to begin to lose credibility with the Republicans. You can say the same thing with Edwards, if he has to go more to the right or more to the left, that he's going to lose that base also, but his being in the middle seems more logical to me than Vitter and that's the overall point I think I'm making
CHERVENAK: It's hard for me to imagine David Vitter moving into the middle and being this moderate. He's always been this hard edge partisan and he is has not been shy about driving a wedge between Democrats. So it's been a successful strategy for him in the past and so I think that maybe he's saying in his campaign that it has worked in the past, let's do it with this election, this is his last hurrah--and so for me, it's difficult to see him change strategies all of the sudden--it's been successful as his other strategy in the past.
SABLUDOWSKY: But the campaign so far shows that he hasn't been successful with that
CHERVENAK: with us because of the re--emergence of the prostitution scandal, the whole spying issue, the car accident, he had a real bad week, and you can see it, his percentage on election day was lower than his early vote, he got 25% of the vote, 23% of the vote on election day, so it must obviously have had some influence. So he's got some time to regroup, and he's got resources to drive his message and to try and define John Bell Edwards--and speaking to that, Bel Edwards needs to define himself as a different type of Democrat because we know that Vitter is going to label him as this liberal, national, Democrat-type Obama. So he's got to figure out a way--"no I'm not that type of Democrat". I'm a different type of Democrat" and he's going to have to define exactly what that is.
SABLUDOWSKY: Well I hear Jim right, and Jim is saying, well I don't want to hear that anymore
CHERVENAK: I think a lot of people feel that, they don't want to hear it about it anymore, but they do want to hear about the issues, this is what I mentioned the other night, there really hasn't been a whole lot of discussion on the issues, they really don't want to talk about the issues, because when you start putting out detailed policy plans, you're going to start alienating certain sectors of the electorate, and so I think they're going to continue to muddle through on the issues and engage in, probably, character assassination
Watch Part I of discussion, above: