Monday, August 14, 2006

"Does Ashdown Have a Chance?"

I was corresponding via email with the illustrious General JC Christian, Patriot of the Jesus' General blog the other day and I mentioned how the Ashdown-Hatch race was going to be intersting. His only reply? "Does Ashdown have a chance?"

This got me to thinking. Does Pete Ashdown have a chance?

It's a good question and I've been thinking alot about it in the last couple of days. The answer I've come up with is mostly. I think he mostly has a chance. It depends on a lot though and it depends on how he runs his campaign.

The first thing I'd like to point people to is this: In November, KSL News reported that "when asked if given the choice between re-electing Hatch or giving someone else a chance, it's a tossup with 45% supporting a Hatch reelection and 48% saying it's time to give someone else a shot." (Deseret News also reported about it here andI wrote a post about this then, as well.) Granted, that was a full year ahead of the election, but it's a good indication that people are ready for a change.

Will they choose to change? I think that, in large part, has to do with how the Ashdown camp runs their campaign. What I think they need to do is paint Orrin Hatch as the entrenched Washington politician who has been in the broken system so long he's part of the problem. It's not hard to do. It's how Hatch won his first election. (He also promised to run a limited number of terms, a promise he didn't keep.) People now, of both political stripes, are fed up with how the system is working and it won't be hard to convince them that if we get enough new blood in Washington things can change. (Sadly, in another, more postive piece about Ashdown run in the St. George Spectrum, a BYU poll had Hatch at 55% to Ashdown's 27%, but that was also with 87% of the people saying they'd never heard of him.)

I think the Ashdown campaign will only stand a chance if they can paint Pete as a moralist. He needs to get out there and make speeches explaining how his positions are relevant to morals and family values. As corny as it sounds, people around here vote on a "family values" agenda. Pete Ashdown has a family and, I beleieve is a moral man (certainly more moral than Hatch).

I see the campaign doing these things. If any of you have read my posts recently about the debate on Saturday that Ashdown invited Hatch to, then you'll see that they are going out of their way to paint Hatch as out of touch and out of Utah. If he cared about Utah, he should be here debating. Ashdown has been going out of his way to describe his yearning for a Lincoln-Douglas style series of debates instead of just one or two highly scripted affairs that Hatch usually attends. He's associating his desires with those of a very well-respected and legendary figure and it will help him out.

He also needs to sell his integrity. He sent out a copy of all of his campaign promises to the Head of the Republican National Committee and a number of other offices (including Hatch's) so that if he was elected and failed to meet a promise, they could be sure to call him on it.

But in order to do the selling, he needs to do some fundraising. The thing is, he hasn't been whoring himself out to do it. He doesn't want to. Hatch has already put together $2 million to Pete Ashdowns $18,000. (Deseret News - April 16) That in and of itself should be a campaign tool against Hatch. It proves he's got his head so far up the ass of the establishment that he could care less about real problems pissing off Utahns.

I'll write more about this, but at the end of the day, not only do I think Pete Ashdown has a chance, I think Utahns are frustrated enough by "Hollywood Hatch" that they'll actually give him one.

Let me know what you think.


Anonymous said...

I like Hatch.

Bryan said...


Steven Greenstreet said...

Ashdown has about the same chance as winning as Kerry did in 2004.

What a great thing it would be for him to win. But idiocy always seems to triumph in red states. Hatch will win.

But, like Stallone's character in "ROCKY", the loser of the game will still be a hero.

Bryan said...

If you look into voting irregularites, Kerry did win.

cowboy said...

Ashdown needs to put better banners with his name HORIZONTALLY on the building downtown SLC.

Pete should bang the drum: "What has Hatch done for Utah?"

Think of all the wasted time Orrin has had to be in the nation's Capital and has nothing to show for it. NOTHING. At least Jake Garn got a space trip with his connections in Congress.

Steven Greenstreet said...

Hatch doesn't have to do anything. He's a typical conservative Utahn who records his own "uplifting" and "spiritual" music.

That's all most voters in Utah will care about. He's become more a symbol, or rather become synonmous with Utah. Most Utahns don't like change. They don't want change. They will vote accordingly.