Skip to comments.Why Angle Lost
Posted on 11/06/2010 4:54:39 AM PDT by Kaslin
The fear and loathing after defeat in Las Vegas don't mask the reality that Sharron Angle's campaign was just not top notch.
The reasons for Sharron Angles loss to Harry Reid in a GOP surge year, when other conservative candidates like Rand Paul of Kentucky and Joe Walsh of Illinois won victories, are not rooted in strategy. Nor are they rooted in a flawed ideology that was too conservative. Instead, the loss was a product of simple logistical failures by the Angle campaign, failures they often were unwilling or unable to understand.
Amateurs talk about strategy. Professionals talk about logistics, said General of the Army Omar Bradley. Sure, he wasnt talking about political campaigns. Yet the famous military axiom, more often than not, holds for politics as well. The terrible swift sword of the South, General Nathan Bedford Forrest, described it as getting there first-est with the most-est.
So here is a look at the first-est logistical reasons Angle lost to Harry Reid:
1) Lack of experience at the top. Three weeks after Angle won the Republican primary, top Angle advisors were still looking for chinks in Harrys armor, as they put it. Really, they had absolutely no idea how they were going to take on Reid. None. Zip. Seasoned professionals would have been ready to execute. You know that IT guy who lives across the street; the guy I wave to in the morning? Yes, that guy would have had a better idea how to take on Reid than Angle did. Some ideas would have been better than no ideas at all. We just won the primary three weeks ago, a top member of Angles staff complained when asked why the campaign had stalled out. In that time, Angle went from a double-digit lead to down seven percentage points. She squandered her first-est advantage.
2) No message discipline. There are three things that can happen when a politician opens her mouth and only one of them is good. She can be quoted accurately but off-message; she can be quoted inaccurately and off-message; or she can be quoted accurately and on message. The outcome is always the responsibility of the candidate. Too often Angle was quoted off-message. Angle was infamous for verbal gaffes on the trail. These were due to her getting off the message that the economy sucks and its Harry Reids fault. Every social-issue question should have been answered saying: Interesting question. I think the thing Nevadans want to know about is why after Harry Reid spent trillions of tax dollars, Nevada still leads the nation in unemployment, foreclosures, and bankruptcies. It might have been a boring campaign, but Angle would have won by hammering her best-est argument.
3) Lack of experience in the middle. The campaign was littered with friends of friends who were very enthusiastic but lacked basic campaign experience. They shunned experienced activists (and advice), creating an us against them attitude in the GOP community. Even groups who were active in helping Angle win the primary were given the stiff arm once the general election started. Coalitions happen in the middle space of a campaign, and the Angle campaign squandered that space. Much of the Angle GOTV operation was by spontaneous activists who were frustrated by the lack of response from the Angle campaign. Although enthusiasm was at a high point in Vegas, Angle didnt exploit the most-est enthusiasm gap.
4) Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The campaign had a poor working relationship with the press, fostered by the fear that Angle too often got off-message. The press, Angle likely felt, had no business to report [her remarks] so verbatimly, to use Mark Twains apt phrase. Angle, then, rebuffed the press, which is always a mistake. Yes, it feels good to rebuff us. But the rebuff created a loathing by the press, which was returned by the campaign. Angle would have been wise to see the press as a delivery mechanism that is better managed than challenged. While this failure doesnt necessarily fit into any first-est with the most-est, category, it might have been the dumbest thing the campaign did. It made the campaign look like it lacked confidence in itself.
“Victory in the next war will depend in execution not plans,” Patton wrote to Eisenhower in 1926. The next war was World War II. That war was won by overwhelming the Axis powers by logistics, not strategy.
Its a lesson all candidates should study when they prepare to take on the Axis of Evil.
Add in voter fraud and pressue from casino owners on their employees to vote for Reid also made a difference.
The Republican candidate should have won this race easily.
That said, remember the Republicans did not the presidence in 1856. We are remaking the Republican party, we will make mistakes. But 60+ seats in the House 6+ in the Senate and 680+ seats in the various state legislatures is a good start!
Ya forgot to add “overwhelming voter fraud”
I don’t know a lot about Nevada except that it is basically 2 large cities and a whole lot of wasteland. Drove from Vegas to Reno once and there isn’t a lot to fight for there.
Angle is a problem if there were just as conservative a candidate who could have won except for some mishap. As for me, I’ll not ever vote for a rino again. Better a known enemy, than a traitor in your midst.
So, the only other issue is a better conservative losing in the primary to a lesser conservative. If that “better” conservative lost simply because the “lesser” conservative ran a better campaign, then I’d have to say that the “better” was not really “better.”
If the better lost the primary because he got in late, was a virtual unknown, or became ill, etc., then I’ll regret the Angle race. I do think she squandered an awful lot of time.
And then there’s the question of fraud. Perhaps Ronald Reagan himself could not have defeated tampered electronic voting machines.
We’ve GOT to get rid of those things.
You have to remember the Democrats wanted at least some degree of symbolic victory, if not the real thing, so they did all they could for Hairy Reed and Don Cuomo while leaving many lesser entities WITHOUT CAMPAIGN FUNDS or technical support (meaning, voting machine fixers, etc.)
Democrat triage was public information!
You talk about a FAIL, that was a FAIL.
When you lose the House, you have just lost control of appropriations and taxes.
There is nothing wrong with blasting the media as long as you stay on message while you do it.
“It does not help the economy of this state when you ask biased and inflammatory questions. Let’s get back to what matters to the people of this state. That is my focus and it should be yours. I don’t think the unemployed people in this state appreciate it when you ask me about witchcraft.
Now, here is what I will be doing when I get to Washington...”
The inevitable campaign post-mortems from those “who just weren’t listened to or respected enough.”
I’m more worried about tampered physical ballots than electronic stuff. democrats tend to ‘find’ whatever physical stuff they need. This whole recounting thing has to end and the only way is with instant ATM style stuff.
Wrong. I was part of a campaign, and this is dead-on advice. The Dems overwhelmed the GOP in Philly with their GOTV logistics and almost overtook Toomey as a result.
I’m not saying it’s all wrong. I’m saying that the article is quite typical. Recriminations always fly fast and furious after any campaign.
There must be a paper trail and a way to count ballots cast with that number clearly printed at the bottom of a ballot.
I prefer a two machine method. One prints out a scannable ballot on which the voter makes his/her choices. The other is a scan-tron reader.
If there are 500 ballots cast in a precinct, then they have numbers 1-500 and no more than that will be accepted. There will also be 500 signatures of 500 voters. I have to sign in AND present ID at my precinct here in Ohio. Don’t know what’s hard about matching number of signatures with number of ballots.
On the other hand, this didn't work too well for Alvin "DeMint caused the recession" Greene.
Very, very good analysis.
BUT while the Angle campaign may not have been decisive, by making Harry worried, Dem contributors were forced to divert valuable extra resources to him that might have helped other Dem candidates win.
Sort of like Nazi Germany having to take anti-tank guns away from the Eastern Front to use against Allied bombers.
So, a Pyrrhic victory for Harry?
“Ya forgot to add ‘overwhelming voter fraud.’”
I just don’t want any scantron-like devices at all. Just too easy to say ‘oh, we found a whole box of stuff that wasn’t scanned’. And then you can have people looking at each one and deciding if a tiny scuff mark on a line is a valid vote or not.
There was no paper involved with the lever machines and those went ok for a long time. If the electronic ones could be audited by both sides and locked down like an ATM, I don’t think it would be a problem.
Good article, with good military analogies. Where it breaks down is in this statement. If Hitler had not attacked Russia and had to divide his forces, he would have been able to repel any invasion of Europe, no matter the logistics brought to bear against him.
And since you said it isn't all wrong, perhaps you'd like to point out the sections you agree and disagree with.
2) There were some in the GOP huring Angle.
"Voter Fraud Alleged In Crow Wing County (MN)
he saw what appeared to be staff members of a mental health facility
fill out a client's ballot and tell another client who to vote for during absentee balloting."
"Minnesota GOP Reports 'Unacceptable' Problems With Counting Machines
.... multiple complaints about failing tabulation machines at polling places around the state.
.... complaints about machines in Duluth, Olmsted County, Lakeville,
Faribault, Mendota Heights and Eagan."
"George Soros And The Margin Of Theft
: Tuesday's results overcame many instances of orchestrated vote fraud, but not all.
Now the court cases begin, aided and abetted by the
Secretary of State Project funded by a Hungarian billionaire.
There will be recounts and court cases, and that is
where a state office the secretary of state comes into play."
"Union Accused of Voter Fraud Involving Mentally Handicapped
Authorities in Crow Wing County are investigating possible voter fraud
involving people with mental disabilities . a large group of mentally handicapped
people were told whom to vote for by mental health staff members and that staff filled
out the ballots themselves without the disabled voters close by."
" (Rochester) Offering Voters "Rides to Polls" (Coalition of Black Trade Unionists)
They told people to call the Rochester, NY office of the
COALITION OF BLACK TRADE UNIONISTS for these free rides,
and also said that the information is up on their website."
"National Organization Warns of Illegal Immigrant Voters
On October 28, WSBTV and the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported
that their recent comparison of jury duty records and voter registrations
found hundreds of non-citizens registered to vote and hundreds actually voting!"
"Vote Fraud Woes Already Mar Mid-Term Elections
some Nevadans who have tried voting early for Republican
Senate nominee Sharron Angle instead have seen
Democrat Harry Reids name appear on their electronic voting machines.
Daytona Beach City Commissioner Derrick Henry and Genesis Robinson,
his campaign manager, face voter-fraud charges. In an apparent re-election tactic,
they allegedly completed 92 absentee-ballot applications with the names
of Floridians who never requested them or who had moved away.
Bucks County, Pennsylvania officials are investigating 500 apparently
fraudulent absentee-ballot applications. Also, the Pennsylvania Voter Assistance
Office sent citizens letters encouraging them to apply for absentee ballots.
No such office exists."
"New Black Panther Seen At Polling Place [same polling place as 2008]
PHILADELPHIA - Fox 29 News spotted Tuesday a member of the New Black Panther Party
standing outside of a local polling place where voter intimidation was reported two years ago."
Diane Sawyer: A few busloads of people can change a Congressional election
George Stephanopoulos runs through the generic ballot numbers in the final WaPo/ABC poll
and sees a nine-point flip from registered to likely voters, for a final 4-point Republican lead.
Diane Sawyer then suggests how easily that, er, some folks could change the elections:
A few busloads of people can change a Congressional elections."
"Tsongas told to move away from Tenney polling station
Clerk Christine Touma-Conway said Tsongas, who is running
for reelection against Republican Jon Golnik, went to the
Tenney School to greet voters. While she was there, she was shaking hands
and greeting voters inside the 150-buffer zone that is set by law to keep
campaigners and candidates away from the immediate vicinity
around polling places, Touma-Conway said. Also this morning, Tsongas went to the Timony School to donate baked goods.... "
"Nevada Union Illegally Coordinating with Reid Campaign for Votes
Crum reveals emails between Reids office and the union folks
telling them to force their members to get to the polls, setting up bus trips
for that purpose, and even sending a spread sheet file identifying workers who
had and had not voted and for whom they voted. This is all clearly illegal."
"Angle Lawyer Requests DOJ Investigation of Reid Campaign, Harrahs
National Review Online ^ | 11/2/2010 | Katrina Trinko
The posting details and documents an orchestrated effort by
Harrahs to intimidate and coerce Harrahs employees to vote for
Harry Reid for the United States Senate, to track whether or not employees
had or had not voted and to pressure supervisors to ensure that
the employees reporting to those supervisors were voting.
"Former F.E.C. official on Reid strong-arming: Ive never seen anything so blatant
There are two issues. The first is illegal coordination.
The Reid campaign is specifically asking a corporation with the help of a union to get voters"
"Harry Reids Son Oversees Suspect Election Machines In Nevada
Rory Reid, the son of Nevada U.S. Senator Harry Reid,
is in charge of the voting machines that were reported
as malfunctioning and are serviced by the SEIU."
"The Scandal of Military Voter Disenfranchisement
About 2,500,000 men and women in the Armed Forces are of voting age at the present time.
Many of those in uniform are serving overseas, or in parts of the country distant from their homes.
They are unable to return to their States either to register or to vote.
Several sstates with late primaries applied for and received waivers for 2010,
and agreed to extend the deadline for the return of ballots mailed in from overseas.
In Illinois, the problem was not a late primary. Indeed, Illinois held its 2010 primary on February 2, 2010.
But 35 of 110 Illinois counties seriously missed the September 18 deadline.
One of the late counties was St. Clair County, home to 261,000 people and to Scott Air Force Base.
The U.S. Department of Justice is responsible for enforcing the MOVE Act,
but it seems not to take its responsibilities seriously
DoJ entered into a consent decree with Illinois that does not solve the problem.
I want a paper trail. Otherwise, you have no proof whatsoever of a person’s vote.
A scantron printed out from an electronic machine would not have scuff marks.
However, the other points about number of signatures matching number of ballots is critical.
Apparently, we’re going to have to go to a 3 person system for issuing ballots: 1 pub, 1 dem, 1 indy. All must verify each ballot issued. We’ve got to get rid of mail-in ballots altogether, except for our military.
We should not look like a banana republic when it comes to the validity of our elections.