A campaign dilemma

dilemmaI am calling on Gov. Cuomo to stop politicizing tragedies like the massacre in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas tragedy was a horrible event that has shaken the lives of so many of our fellow Americans and events like this should never be used to push a political agenda. We need to come together as a country and show our support for the victims affected by this heinous crime.–Tom Reed (campaign facebook page)

Tom Reed runs against Gov. Cuomo, whom Tom hopes will remain unpopular in predominately Republican NY-23. How should Tom’s challengers respond?

  1. Ignore this, leaving Tom to make what he can of it.
  2. Point out that NYS government is outside the scope of our representative’s responsibilities.
  3. Take the opposite side, defending Gov. Cuomo and NYS government.
  4. Join Tom in disparaging Gov. Cuomo.

Which is best? Experience suggests candidates running as Democrats will be linked to whichever politicians and policies are judged to be unpopular. Tom’s well funded advertising will be relentless. Those running as independents (candidates Hertzler and Clasby are both from Tompkins County) will be labeled cypto-Democrats whatever they say. Defending Gov. Cuomo by talking about public safety, health care, and environmental protection may be the best course to take. By this time next year, Gov. Cuomo, as well as Nancy Pelosi and Bernie Sanders, just might look good compared to other politicians including Tom Reed.



About whungerford

* Contributor at NewNY23rd.com where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
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17 Responses to A campaign dilemma

  1. cathkestler says:

    Reed will always disparage any Democrat, don’t you know he’s always “right”. đŸ˜‰


  2. whungerford says:

    Yes, Tom Reed is sure to disparage any opponent; a successful candidate needs to frame the debate to advantage, which isn’t easy to do. As we see, Reed is already working to put his reelection on ice far in advance of election day.


  3. Arthur Ahrens says:

    Everything Tom does is about reelection, a fact that people either seem to forget or ignore. He is completely amoral, as is Trump. If praising Democrats ensured his reelection, he would be the guy in the front.

    With that in mind, let’s first acknowledge that Reed himself is hypocritically politicizing the tragedy by “calling on Gov.Cuomo…” And let’s further note that Reed historically ducks difficult issues by citing state’s rights whenever confronted with said issue (ex: fracking). So why is he so anxious to bring Cuomo’s name into this discussion?

    I believe that he’s following the Trump playbook and playing to his base. He doesn’t need Democrat or independent votes to be elected. But he needs his core to turn out. So he needs to keep them fired up. Defining Cuomo specifically in negative terms, and by extension the hated liberals, accomplishes his goal.

    Since he needs his base to turn out, efforts to de-elect Tom should concentrate on demotivating his base. So options 1 and 2 are good ones. And option 3 plays into Tom’s hands.

    As an aside, I’ve noticed Tom perform an interesting trick at his town halls. Whenever the loud, indignant, leftist liberals show signs of quieting down, he will intentionally throw an item out (often a non sequitur) to spool the libs up again.

    He knows how to get reelected. And the town hall liberal loudmouths should be on his payroll, as they are doing exactly what he wants and needs for his cakewalk to victory.

    A better plan for Democrats would be to ignore Tom and to concentrate on how their message would improve the lives of the citizens of the NY23. But sadly, all we have is deafening silence.


  4. whungerford says:

    Reed’s reelection strategy has three pillars:

    • Pose as a responsible, moderate, bipartisan problem solver.
    • Appeal to hard-core Republicans on guns, taxes, and healthcare.
    • Avoid offending anyone by keeping quiet about his votes in Congress.

    I don’t think Tom’s hard-core supporters are in play, but independents and moderates are. A successful candidate must convince many that Tom’s politics aren’t in the public interest, in spite of the many advantages enjoyed by an incumbent.


  5. whungerford says:

    NY-23 registration figures: Dems 140,000, Republicans 160,000, Independents (no party) 90,000. Thus independent voters are crucial. Yet indpendents would need to split better than 60/40 for Democrats to overcome the Republican advantage in party registration.


  6. Arthur Ahrens says:

    2018 is an off year election. Historically, Democrats do not turn out for these. Neither do many independents.

    Only motivated voters turn out. Those who are clear on the message. Republicans know what the message is. And they will vote.

    Outside of the raucous town halls, I see no Democratic activity in NY23. What do Democrats stand for in NY23? What will be the Democrat’s message in 2018? Is there a candidate / message that will excite the Democratic base? Is there machinery in place to attract new Democratic voters?

    If the Democratic vote is light in the 2018 election, the independent vote will not matter at all.


  7. whungerford says:

    On the other hand, mid-term elections are often unfavorable for the party in power.


  8. Arthur Ahrens says:

    You are right. And for a sweetener, the Republicans are botching everything. And Trump is truly a disaster.

    BUT — NY-23 is ranked as the 24th most Democratic seat out of the 27 New York Congressional Districts with only NHY22-Hanna, NY-11-Grimm and NY-27-Collins considered more Republican. (stat is from 2014)

    Past performance is no guarantee of future results, but if I were betting on NY23 in 2018 I know how I would be voting.


  9. whungerford says:

    There are several groups of voters who might be disgruntled with Tom Reed:

    • Farmers concerned about migrant labor.
    • Those concerned about the environment.
    • Those standing to lose health care benefits.
    • Those expecting higher taxes.
    • Those worried about war.
    • Those concerned about firearm regulation.
    • Seniors concerned about Medicare.
    • Single mothers standing to lose benefits, tax breaks.


  10. Joseph Urban says:

    My thoughts:
    1. I would thoroughly investigate Reed’s actual voting record (like voting to end the ACA over and over without a reasonable alternative) and remind voters of his record.
    2. I would emphasize to voters to ignore what Reed CLAIMS and his photo ops and concentrate on his actual voting record.
    3. I would remind voters that although Reed claims to be a member of the “problem solvers” caucus he has never put forth any compromise solutions to the ACA, gun control, the Iran Agreement and N Korea controversies, to name a few. His solutions are not compromises at all.
    4. I would remind voters that while Reed claims to want to keep government out of the health care decisions he has , in fact, voted the opposite. He has voted to intrude into a woman and her doctor’s and family’s decision about having children. And he has interfered in the DC decision to allow a person and his or her doctor to make end of life decisions if you are terminally ill. So, in some cases he favors government control of your health care decisions.
    4. I would hang President Trump like a millstone around Reed’s neck. I would remind voters that Mr Reed was an early and aggressive supporter of Trump. A campaign chair, in fact. I would remind them that the GOP had plenty of conservative, qualified candidates for POTUS: Bush, Kasich, Cruz, Rubio, Perry and others. Not folks I would support but people who have a certain common sense and gravitas. People who would not constantly tweet and attack anyone who may offend them. Adults. I would remind people that Reed, from day one, thought that Donald Trump was the best person in the USA to be POTUS. I would remind people that in Reed’s judgement Donald Trump had the intellect, experience, maturity and temperment to have his finger on the nuclear button. I would not criticize Reed, but simply point out his (lack of ) sound JUDGEMENT.
    While the GOP regulars will stick with Reed all the way, (don’t even bother trying to sway them) I suspect that tying him closely to the travesty of Donald Trump may give independents something to think about.


  11. whungerford says:

    Joseph, I would like to believe, but I have doubts. The ideas you list have been tried without success. Of course the political climate may have changed. Perhaps chaos in the White House, mass murder, hurricanes, wild fires, droughts, and threats of war, have created concerns in the electorate that override Tom’s message that he is the safe, responsible, conservative, hometown candidate, a view that has proved robust even in face of much evidence to the contrary.


  12. Rynstone says:

    It wasn’t just Democrat Governor Cuomo who politicized the tragic shooting in Las Vegas almost immediately. It was also Democrats Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and Diane Feinstein who jumped on the “blame guns” not the “evil bad people” band wagon within hours before any real details had been investigated and released by law enforcement.

    There are many Democrats in the cities, towns and rural areas who support of our 2nd Amendment Rights


  13. Arthur Ahrens says:

    I think that Mr. Urban has some very good ideas.
    All that is lacking is a credible spokesperson.
    A pity and a shame that Reed is allowed to run unchecked.


  14. whungerford says:

    Tom Reed’s campaign committee spent $475,000 in the first six months of 2017. Much of this probably went to fundraising, but money was also spent on advertising, consulting, and staff. Tom paid large amounts to Advance Strategic Services, LLC for “consulting” which might include polling. Select “browse disbursements” to explore the details.


  15. Arthur Ahrens says:

    At least one candidate for NY 23 is prepared to run an effective race.
    The early bird catches the worm.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Arthur Ahrens says:

    Three more town halls for Reed:


    Hmmm….I wonder if they help or hurt him…

    Art’s unofficial Reed Vs. Democrats Publicity Tally For NY-23 since 11/9/2016
    Includes Town Halls, Television Appearances, Editorials, Press Conferences, Newspaper Articles, Missed Opportunities
    Tom Reed 47
    Democrats 10
    Democrat Missed Opportunities 5

    Liked by 1 person

  17. whungerford says:

    I think town hall meetings help Tom two ways:

    • The connect him with voters in rural areas important to his success.
    • Vocal opposition gets him on news shows and is useful in his political advertising.


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