Quick hits: Dudley and Kitzhaber as second Dudley ad hits the air

Paul Gronke

I am out of town in Washington DC and I saw Chris Dudley's second TV Ad following the WWeek story.

It's pretty impressive. The content is good. He is positioning himself as pro-union (but the NBA players union is a special kind of union ... shades of Reagan there). He's got a businessman, an NBA lawyer (paid endorser), and an African American (Billy Hunter) all saying good things about him. You got the picture of kids, flag in the background, and the class red white and blue imagery. Very upbeat.

His "bio" ad, "Change" is also quite good (can anyone identify that picture behind him?) He calls himself a "different kind of Republican" and waxes poetic about his life as the first generation American son of Eastern European immigrants (both educators) who divorced. Chris, so the story goes, persevered and succeeded through hard work, went to Yale, went to the NBA.

I decided to do a bit of naive web browsing. Search on Chris Dudley for Governor and you get to his website-the lead posting is a statement about keeping PE in schools. Another slam dunk for Dudley with middle class Portland parents. The red white and blue color scheme continues on the website.

Kitzhaber doesn't do as well on the web. If you search on "John Kitzhaber" at youtube, the top entry is a paid ad by Bill Bradbury! Bill--take that ad down! The next video that pops up is nine months old. If you select the username--"johnkitzhaber", the featured video has an opening image of Kitzhaber with his eyes shut (it's the second part of his primary acceptance speech). Not great.

Kitzhaber's website is also a bit duller, a mainly blue backgrounds.

Both websites have rotating highlight (jobs, "dream big", and a primary acceptance speech for Dudley; jobs, health, education, environment, and "why I am running" for Kitz that mirror the issue areas on the left). I think Kitz's does a better job here.

I mused on an earlier discussion that Kitzhaber needed to get out front to define Dudley before Dudley defined himself. These recent ads aren't encouraging. I don't know if these are playing on television or are just on the web.

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    Dudley is running a campaign of platitudes, counting on wrapping an angry and ill-informed electorate in a nice warm blanket of poorly-thought-out ideas in sufficent numbers to beat a Kitzhaber campaign that hasn't started moving yet but ought to get going pretty darn soon....

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      Was the electorate, myself included, "ill-informed" when we voted for Obama or is ignorance only a trait of those that disagree with you.

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    The biggest pitfall for Kitzhaber may be the possibility that he will get too confident in his ability to win, and not put in the necessary legwork to defeat Dudley. Just because you are a Democrat running in a blue-leaning state is no excuse not to do everything possible to get your name out and make a positive impression: call it the lesson of Massachusetts.

    If Kitzhaber is going to do this right, he needs to make himself much more visible than he was during the primary elections. This isn't the Democratic primary, where it was pretty clear from the beginning Kitzhaber was going to win (I say this as someone who voted for Bradbury, but who would much rather have Kitzhaber in office than Dudley). This is the real thing: it's time for the Kitzhaber campaign to step it up.

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    Kitzhaber needs to find that KGW soundbyte where Dudley says he is "open" to oil drilling off the coast of Oregon and play it to death.

    What is going on with the Kitz campaign? They are going to LOSE if they don't start taking Dudley seriously.

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      Kitzhaber needs to find that KGW soundbyte where Dudley says he is "open" to oil drilling off the coast of Oregon and play it to death.

      And Dudley would counter with Obama approving of the same.

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    As a social media maven, I often scour YouTube for political ads to inform my views on candidates.

    I was not aware that Kitzhaber was old and out of touch with Gen Z.

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    Paul, as a political scientist, what impact would you say this might have on the campaign, if any? I'm wondering if there's any research on campaigns who get off to an early lead in "defining" each other, or if you're just reading tea leaves. (Not that I don't think you're reading them correctly.)

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      Jeff I would have to look at the timing. There was a lot of work done during the Hart and Perot campaigns because they came, relatively speaking, out of nowhere.

      There is also a lot of good work on senate races. Not much I am aware on in gubernatorial races.

      You can find in search databases by searching on "traits", "framing", etc

      The early image impressions do have a "stickiness" to them that can be countered by "facts", but of course it depends on how such information is framed.

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    I can assure you that the Bradbury Campaign has not bought or purchased any ads since the primary. Are you sure you saw?

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      Absolutley. Just replicated it. Go to YouTube.com, search on "John kitzhaber", and the top video on the page is this:


      Notice that the search term is embedded in the URL.

      The Bradbury campaign bought a "promoted video" based on the term "John kitzhaber" (smart move) and the "sponsorship" is still in place.

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    I'm a Kitzhaber supporter, granted, but Yaaawwwnn! That ad could fit in nicely with the furniture around the TV set but maybe that's the point. I want to see something that really catches what we are facing as a state and why you as a voter need a person with experience (and friends in the legislature and public) to tackle that bear and that person is:

    JOHN KITZHABER, M.D. -- Oregon's premier political veteran. He's seen a lot of economic storms and knows the waters, sharks and all.

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