Mistake #1: Running too many candidates
This happens every time:
- A seat opens up or becomes vulnerable,
- Several conservatives and a couple of moderates jump into the race,
- The conservative base splits up among the conservative candidates, and
- One of the moderate candidates wins as the conservatives fight it out.
If you think this is a coincidence, you completely underestimate the liberal strategists. When a dangerous-looking candidate steps up to the plate, what more natural – and effective – strategy than to recruit some competition for him?
It’s easy to do, because it’s very flattering to be approached with encouragement to run and offers of support. Until conservatives start wising up to that strategy, we’re going to play right into the liberals’ hands every time.
So, if you’re thinking about running:
- If someone encourages you to run against Graham, be aware of the possibility that he’s a liberal or establishment strategist or is being used by one, trying to use you.
- If you do jump into the race and several who are similar to you also enter, get them all together for lunch and decide who the nominee needs to be. You all want to win, but chances are that you all would rather have any one of you, than a moderate win or a Graham re-election.
- Recruiting competition for a candidate you want to defeat works. Just saying.
Mistake #2: Choosing a moderate candidate
Don’t look for a candidate who won’t tick anyone off. A candidate that no one absolutely hates is going to be a candidate that no one loves. Widespread dislike of a politician isn’t enough to get him replaced (ask McCain and Romney).
How to avoid these two mistakes:
So everyone needs to coalesce behind one candidate…..but that candidate needs to be the sort of candidate that will tick a lot of people off. We need to unify, but we also need to be particular. How are we going to pull that off?
It’s very simple. Look at the people who are on friendly terms with Graham (or at least aren’t terribly discontent with him), then see which candidate they don’t like.
Then, unite behind that guy.