Novick's Path to Victory

PolitickerOR takes an in-depth look at Steve Novick's campaign for US Senate, and his strategy for winning the Democratic nomination:

When veteran pollster Bob Meadow joined Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Steve Novick’s campaign last year, he had some concerns.

One was that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Meadow felt, was standing behind primary opponent Jeff Merkley, the Oregon House Speaker. The committee’s chair, New York Senator Chuck Schumer, had a way of pushing for what he wanted and Meadow feared that Schumer would find a way to push Novick aside.

Another concern was that the Novick campaign had not yet developed a full infrastructure. It often seemed as if Jake Weigler, Novick’s energetic campaign manager who had previously worked as a press secretary for Governor Ted Kulongoski and research director at Media Matters for America, was everywhere at once.

But today Meadow says he sees a path to victory for Novick, an attorney and political activist who is in his first run for public office.

“Now I am convinced we are going to win,” Meadow says.

Much of Novick's success is attributed to his creative television ads:

The Novick campaign started out as a campaign that was, generally speaking, an anti-establishment effort. But today aides say they have also been able to win the support of mainstream, establishment-minded voters. And in an interview, Novick was quick to point out that he had won the support of elected officials and people in the business community.

The campaign credits much of the broadened appeal to its television advertisements, one of which features Novick, standing at less than five feet, promising to “fight for the little guy” and another showing the candidate opening a beer with the hook that replaces his missing left hand.

“They are different, they are funny, and they are substantive,” Novick said.

Meadow said the Steve Eichenbaum -produced spots, which together have about 125,000 views on YouTube, have succeeded in creating a “buzz element” for the campaign. What people find appealing about the advertisements, Meadow argued, was that they are at once self-deprecating, funny, and sensitive - and show Novick to be a “different” kind of politician.

Novick declined to discuss the advertisements his campaign would run in the coming weeks, but Meadow said to expect spots of the same edgy type.

Novick's main challenge will be dealing with Jeff Merkley's larger campaign coffers:

Merkley is expected to have a cash advantage heading into the final ten weeks of the campaign, and in that time his campaign will for the first time hit the airwaves with advertisements that, campaign insiders say, will introduce the candidate to voters.

It is a period of time during the campaign that could prove definitive.

Novick says he will be able to sustain support through the Merkley media offensive largely by playing offense and winning media attention in mainstream and non-mainstream outlets.

Asked what specific moves his campaign would make in the coming weeks, Novick laughed.

“The only answer to that is stay tuned. You won’t be bored.”

Read the rest. Discuss.

  • victor (unverified)

    Is your polling based on how many hits you get on youtube? Come can't be serious.

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    Not sure where Meadows alleged that he had actually committed polling.

    As far as I know there have only been one or two polls in play, done several weeks/months back, showing both dems as below 15% name recognition vs. Smith.

    Both have been all over the state working to change that, but it looks to me as if the primary will come down to a flurry of TV ads and some walkies in the last few weeks.

    I'm sure that both campaigns have polls in hand that we haven't seen, and now I'm wondering if we'll see anything prior to May 20th.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)

    - and show Novick to be a “different” kind of politician.

    That is why I'm for Novick and Obama. Novick is a straight shooter and Obama's "race" speech a few minutes ago proved he can be one also. Given Chuck Schumer's history, especially his work to appoint Michael Mukasey as Attorney General, I have little enthusiasm for anyone associated with him. As for Obama's opponent, can anyone honestly say she is a straight shooter and not a political calculator?

  • Jack Murray (unverified)

    Didn't Bob Meadow's Decision Research poll firm merge with Celinda Lake's firm?

    That would seem to make him quite the Beltway hack, which is exactly the type of person Steve Novick has railed against.

    What gives? Does the Novick campaign think it's okay to employ well-connected DC consultants only if one's campaign blasts and demonizes said consultants?

    I smell a double standard here.

  • Paul B. (unverified)

    Well, there is something Bill & I can agree on: Steve Novick for US Senate! I'm in Hillary's camp for the prez primary, but goes to show we have things in common!

  • John-Mark Gilhousen (unverified)

    Hmmmm. Let's see if I've got this straight. A new kind of candidate, anti-establishment with support from sitting politicians and commercial interests, fueled by two quirky/substantive videos, all according to his inside-the-beltway consultant/pollster. Okay. I think I've got it.

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    Novick says he will be able to sustain support through the Merkley media offensive largely by playing offense

    Glad to see that Novick's strategy is to run a completely negative campaign making sure that when Jeff Merkley defeats him that the Democratic candidate is weak moving into the general.

    Seems exactly like a strategy that his DC insider pollster would suggest.

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    You have to hire people who know what they're doing, but you have to make sure you're the one running the show.

    That's what Steve (and Jake) are doing.

    John Kitzhaber is not a traditional pol either, and he's certainly not "sitting" in the normal definition of "holding office." I'm not sure who the "commercial interests" are that are so bad -- I and many of Steve's other supporters work for a living and are employed in the private sector -- I guess that makes us "commercial interests."

    Anyone who can mount even a vaguely credible campaign for the US Senate is something of a political "insider" - but on a spectrum of "insiderhood" that has Chuck Schumer on one end and Candy Neville on the other, Jeff Merkley is much closer to the Schumer end than Steve. That's just a fact. So when we talk about insiders vs. outsiders, it has always been a relative thing, despite the way the Merkleyites have tried to reduce it to an absolute in order to mock it.

    Merkley's campaign assumed he could coast to the nomination. Since Jeff himself lives in Oregon and was acquainted with Steve Novick, one can only conclude that his out-of-state consultants (helpfully provided by the DSCC) made that assumption and put into operation a campaign based on it. Because Jeff personally had to know better, but for whatever reason he went along for the ride.

    I am not privy to whatever goodies Steve's campaign may have in store. I have no idea what's cooking. But I am 100% confident that it will be great, that it will be smart and buzzworthy, and that it will be authentically Steve.

    If Merkley's supporters could truthfully say the same thing about their guy's execution, we'd have a great campaign going on here.

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    Mr. Novick certainly has caught the imagination of the "politics as news-of-the-weird" crowd. He's been featured on both Fark and now Slashdot.

    'Heyyyyyy..... like wow man! Didya know there's a guy in Oregon running for Senate who is a dwarf, opens beer bottles with his hook, and has his own beer brand? Coool. I'll drink to that!'

    I can only admire the way Mr. Novick been able to increase his name recognition. But whether this will translate into actual Oregon votes, in the primary or the general, is an open question.

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    I don't know how many Novick events you've been to, I've been to more than a few, but I've never heard him "blast" or "demonize" consultants (he's been one after all).

    What I've heard him say again and again is that "politics as usual" won't beat Gordon Smith and that he represents a different approach to governance. It's resonated, I think, and if the crowd at the Melody Ballroom last night is any indication he's doing very well.

    And BDunn,

    "Playing offense," doesn't mean nearly the same thing as your idea that he's going to "run a completely negative campaign." It means being assertive, being pro-active instead of being reactive and setting the message. Steve spends most of his time, believe it or not, talking about what he's going to do to defeat Gordon Smith and what he wants to accomplish in the US Senate. He spends less time explaining why he's thinks he's a better choice to do this than Jeff Merkley than some seem to suggest.

  • Jack Murray (unverified)
    So when we talk about insiders vs. outsiders, it has always been a relative thing, despite the way the Merkleyites have tried to reduce it to an absolute in order to mock it.

    Quoth Steve Novick:

    "I guess we shouldn't be surprised to have to fight the Democratic Establishment as well as the Republicans."

    "If Speaker Merkley's going to have Big Brother on his side, we're just going to have to beat Big Brother."

    "I'm not pleased to hear that a few people in Washington, D.C. are trying to dictate who we send against Gordon Smith in November."

    That's straight from his blog. And that all seems pretty absolute to me.

  • Oats (unverified)

    Hey, can we make up our minds here?

    Is Steve Novick:

    A) A political insider using big-time beltway politics to wage an ugly campaign against the great Speaker Merkley, while railing against consultants (and maybe in the Repubican's pocket)? or B) A short guy with a gimmick, getting a lot of attention, but really nothing for the great Speaker Merkley to worry about?

    Which is it?

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    By the way, the people who make up the Slashdot community are very smart. They call it "News for nerds. Stuff that matters."

    They have a sense of humor but take serious things very seriously. And on the technical side, they are widely respected.

    Does Jeff Merkley still use AOL for his personal email, by the way?

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    Novick's main challenge will be dealing with Jeff Merkley's larger campaign coffers

    That will be one of two main challenges Novick will have to deal with. The other arguably more daunting one will be the massive (220,000 members) labor union "get out the vote" effort on Merkley's behalf. We recently learned of the Oregon AFSCME's dedication to getting out the vote for Obama and Merkley. Throw in the SEIU's vaunted 70% record at winning elections and the myriad other smaller labor unions who have endorsed Merkley, not to mention the 20,000 strong Sierra Club, and I personally don't see a viable path to victory for Steve Novick which avoids poisoning the proverbial well with a scorched earth offensive.

    Novick says he will be able to sustain support through the Merkley media offensive largely by playing offense...

    Expect him to go hard negative. He has no other viable option. Indeed, it'll just be a variation on his campaign tactics all along.

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    Expect him to go hard negative. He has no other viable option. Indeed, it'll just be a variation on his campaign tactics all along.

    That says it all. On Planet Merkley it's "go[ing] hard negative" to call out the differences on the issues. Because on Planet Merkley Jeff has a hallelujah chorus of bloggers singing his praises as a "strong progressive" without paying attention to his pesky actual positions.

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    Expect him to go hard negative. He has no other viable option.

    Yea right. All the Dems I've talked to lately who have just recently decided to support Steve all talk about his plans, his policy ideas, etc. as to why they decided to support him. Obviously that's the most viable option - to continue to discuss these things with groups of people, at meetings, in literature, and (in the future) on commercials. It's these things that have convinced long-time Merkley supporters to choose Novick in the primary.

    Offense doesn't mean going negative. It means stating your positions and framing your message yourself often and early. Don't let your opponent(s) frame it for you. When you play offense, you're not letting your opponent control the scene. How many times have we complained about Dem candidates that just sit back and let the other side constantly frame their message, force them to play defense, etc.? But I guess I shouldn't be surprised since these comments often come from people who don't even want Novick in the election.

    Like I've said, I like Merkley. I've supported him in the past and think he's been a good state legislator and speaker of the house. We've disagreed on some items, but that happens with everyone. I just don't feel he's the best person for the position, which is the whole reason why we have primaries in the first place.

    But these knee jerk responses by some Merkley supporters the moment a pro-Novick piece comes up got old weeks ago. I'm sure I'm not the only one who just skips over them anytime there's a posting about the U.S. Senate race.

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    Against the backdrop of the primary race thus far I think you're being a bit disingenuous. All of those labor unions representing 220,000 Oregon members are familiar with Novick's plans, his policy ideas, etc. They've listened and watched as Novick stated his positions and framed his message. Likewise, so too did the Sierra Club, the Council for a Livable World, Citizens for Global Solutions and others. They've all endorsed Jeff Merkley.

    If there were any second thoughts by any of those progressive organizations it certainly wasn't evident just a couple days ago when Ken Allen of the Oregon AFSCME pointedly mentioned Jeff Merkley in the same breath with Barak Obama as the chief reasons his union is going into overdrive to get out the vote.

    Even Steve Novick's (arguably) harshest attack on Jeff Merkley thus far - the 2003 HR 2 vote - has worked against him as the list of veterans openly backing Merkley continues to grow and grow. Those veterans understand perfectly well that Steve Novick has been demagoguing HR 2 and they're clearly not any more impressed with his rhetoric than they are with Gordon Smith's, I don't see any comparable list of endorsing veterans on either Novick's or Smith's campaign sites.

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    kevin's funny. He still thinks Merkley is leading the race, and isn't even paying enough attention to the race (or is blind) to see that Merkley's the one running behind and makingnegative smear attacks rather than policy args against his opponent. You knew when Jeff started lying on KPOJ and on the debate, that he was feeing the heat.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)

    So much in these threads sounds like two rival packs of chihuahuas. Jeff and Steve both deserve better.

  • Oats (unverified)

    I'm just dreaming about all those vulnerable post-primary republican ankles.

    At some point, we're all going to be on the same side.

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    I never said otherwise. There are going to be people (and organizations) that listen to the candidates and choose Merkley over Novick. Each of us is looking for something different in what we want the U.S. Senator to be. And as such, we may choose different candidates - they're both great candidates. It's not as if those organizations/people are choosing to support Gordon Smith - we're all working on the common cause of defeating Smith in November. We just disagree on the best candidate to do that.

    What I'm saying is that Novick isn't winning people to his side because he's being negative, which some claim to be his campaign strategy, the only way he can win, etc. He's winning people over by talking about the issues, his positions, etc. Is he going to win over everyone this way? No, but neither candidate will.

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    I both agree and disagree, Jenni. Your first paragraph I wholeheartedly concur with. The second one I'm a bit more iffy on.

    Yes, Steve has won people over without resorting to negativity. He's had some really great, positive ads. But he has also been playing a one-sided game of taking negative shots at Merkley for months now. I don't see how anyone can say with any certainty what percentage of Steve's support was generated at least in part by that negativity. Whereas we know that Jeff avoided criticizing Steve up until very recently. Thus I think one can say with greater certainty that Jeff's support comes from positive reception of his ideas, plans and positions.

  • LT (unverified)

    Oats, I am for B.

    Stephanie, how are you going to win votes for Steve by cracks like "Planet Merkley"?
    I use AOL email, does that mean you don't want me to vote for Steve because no one using AOL email is worth anything?

    From the post:

    "The campaign credits much of the broadened appeal to its television advertisements, one of which features Novick, standing at less than five feet, promising to “fight for the little guy” and another showing the candidate opening a beer with the hook that replaces his missing left hand.

    “They are different, they are funny, and they are substantive,” Novick said." ~~~~~~~~ If Novick is expecting every voter to agree with him about the ads, he will lose.

    How is he doing with downstate infrastructure/ volunteers?

    What about the folks who think the ads are interesting the first time they saw them but not all they will base their decision on?

    Or the folks who don't think the ads show a serious candidate? When a friend of mine said she thought the opening the beer bottle ad was like a freak side show, does that make her a "Merkleyite"? Why?

    Without watching the ad again, can Stephanie or anyone else tell us what Steve was talking about before he opened the beer bottle? Or were the issues less important because people will remember the beer bottle and thus know they want to vote for Steve?

    And here is another mistake on the part of the Novick folks: But today aides say they have also been able to win the support of mainstream, establishment-minded voters. And in an interview, Novick was quick to point out that he had won the support of elected officials and people in the business community.

    "Establishment minded voters"? Who would that be--people who thought they wanted to vote for the Speaker of the House but changed their minds? People who voted in the 2006 primary for Ted K. instead of a challenger? Pct. people and State Central Comm. members? Folks who support Hillary or who supported Mondale in 1984?

    Ordinary people who work, spend time with their families, who don't pay much attention to politics until maybe a month before the election will decide this and all other elections. But do they fit any political stereotypes, or are they just looking for someone who will solve problems?

    Here is one of my problems with Steve--his vague generalizing. Which elected officials currently in office support Steve? Which businesspeople? (I don't like the phrase "in the --- community" as it sounds like professional politicians, as in Geraldine Ferraro saying she thought the "black community" would welcome her remarks---does she really think in 2008 that Colin Powell, Condi Rice, Rev. Jesse Jackson and his son the Congressman, Clarence Thomas, the Cong. Black Caucus all think alike because they all belong to the "black community" or has she been away from ordinary folks for too long?)

    Sen. Obama (just heard the clip on the radio)spoke out today against those who simplify and stereotype. Amen to that!

    Where does Steve stand that speech or on the Open Primary Supreme Court decision today? Or would that be too much to ask from those who think like political consultants rather than like ordinary grass roots folks?

    Where does he stand specifically on any number of issues ?(Yes, some of his issue positions are more vague than some people like me prefer.)

    Sadly, I have come to the conclusion that Steve didn't learn any lessons from the Bruggere campaign of 12 years ago which gave us Gordon Smith. We are supposed to support Steve because his supporters tell us to and why should we ask any questions?! Sounds like the Bruggere campaign!

    And btw, calling me a "Merkleyite " won't get me to vote for Steve.

    I am not impressed with the background of either campaign manager.

    Saying it is impossible that anyone could possibly be undecided in March because all honest people have made a decision by now will not help Steve earn votes (yes, I recall that someone here said earlier there was no such thing as an undecided voter in this race, therefore I must be lying when I said I was undecided---if I didn't like Steve that made me a Merkleyite!)

    I agree with those who say Obama gave a gutsy speech today. Can Steve give such a gutsy speech to an audience outside of his comfort zone---an all comers publicly advertised town hall meeting outside the Portland area where the audience isn't packed with his supporters, for instance?

    To conclude, I want to provide a reminder of the history of 40 years ago (a time when a black general like Powell, a black female US Secretary of State like Rice, a black member of Congressional leadership like Clyburn, a female Speaker of the House, and even more the top 2 candidates in a presidential primary being one black and one female, would have been beyond imagination).

    It was roughly 40 years ago (in the days before Easter, 1968 whatever the date of Easter was that year) that Martin Luther King was shot on a hotel balcony in Atlanta.

    Too often recent campaigns seem shallow in comparison to the events of that year. Some of the same things are true this year (a Texas president leaving office in less than a year, an unpopular war, less attention to the needs of veterans than some would like to see, questions of race --gender wasn't really that big an issue for a few years yet--economic questions concerning those who struggle financially). Yet too much of our politics seems cynical and insider-oriented, as if everything is a foregone conclusion and Howard Dean's YOU HAVE THE POWER message he later put into a book isn't really relevant. How would Bobby Kennedy, Eugene McCarthy, or even Rev. ML King be treated these days?

    What we need are inspiring candidates. Yet at the top of Steve's website is the link for beer and then something about the OEA endorsement. This is what so many people devoted themselves to politics for after living through the year 1968---so they could vote for a candidate talking about beer and endorsements??

    I see on the side of this page where Steve talks about issues on Loaded Orygun. When will he talk about the same issues in public venues?

    From the post:

    Novick says he will be able to sustain support through the Merkley media offensive largely by playing offense and winning media attention in mainstream and non-mainstream outlets.

    Asked what specific moves his campaign would make in the coming weeks, Novick laughed.

    “The only answer to that is stay tuned. You won’t be bored.”

    Surely Kitzhaber didn't endorse Steve because of the beer ad--more likely because of Steve's issues (or maybe he is unhappy with Merkley). Anyone who knew Dr. John even before he was Gov. knows how important issues are to him, and how he is the opposite of shallow and cynical. But they also know his friends are independent thinkers, not the type who will say "Oh, Dr. John endorsed this person, so I will vote for him without asking questions".

    As Stephanie has said, that endorsement is just "another data point".

    If one of Steve's ads between now and the primary were to be made from his video on poverty (the one it takes knowing to click on the Issues tab of Steve's site, and then the Addressing Poverty link and then Multimedia Link to find), that would be a candidate worthy of serious consideration. Even replacing the To Tell The Truth video with that poverty video on the home page would be an improvement.

    But right now it seems Steve relies more on symbolism and gimmicks on his home page than substance. And if that last sentence makes me a "Merkleyite", anyone saying that has no clue on how to win a statewide campaign and doesn't want my vote for their candidate!

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    I like how LT said "to conclude" and then went on for 12 more paragraphs, to no less of an ad nauseum effect as the other 100,000 paragraphs she's written saying largely the same thing.

  • Daniel Spiro (unverified)


    I can assure you that Steve appreciates Barack. Besides, I could speak for a number of his oldest friends in saying that if we picked up any hints that Steve "didn't get it," we would definitely get in his face about it. Novick's HLS gang is absolutely nuts about the Obama candidacy. (Yes, Baby Boomers love Barack too!)

    To be candid, I'm still frustrated at my friend for originally endorsing Edwards, but with speeches like today's classic, how could he not realize what I have been telling him for months: that Obama is easily the greatest progressive talent since Steve's beloved Robert Kennedy.

    Besides, it's not like Merkley was on top of this one either. I truly don't understand why either Steve or Jeff couldn't originally appreciate that Barack is a once-in-a-generation political genius. No, he's not yet in the league of RFK, but after days like today, I won't sell him short.

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    To be perfectly blunt, I agree with Daniel here. I certainly saw the appeal of John Edwards all along and he was my 2nd choice from the beginning. But Obama is truly a once-in-a-generation kind of candidate.

    What took Jeff and Steve so long?

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    I have a feeling that nothing I say can reach you but I will give it another try, because you are someone who has dedicated many years of your life to the Democratic Party and I honor and respect that. We communicate on different wavelengths and we don't seem to reach each other very well. That saddens me a little.

    When I look at Steve Novick I see a remarkable candidate and an even more remarkable human being. I see someone who has overcome disadvantages and disabilities that I can't even imagine, and that I think most of us can't even imagine. I also see a person who, wholly apart from his personal history, is today one of the smartest, hardest working, most authentic, most progressive, most honest people I know -- and yes, also, one of the cleverest and most sharp-witted.

    So when I look at Steve Novick I see a candidate who has both the sizzle AND the steak (as the ad guys of the "Mad Men" era would have put it), in other words both the style AND the substance that make him a compelling candidate.

    Obviously the substance is the most important thing, and without the substance Steve would not have attracted the remarkable level of support that he has. But it is a reality of American life that the style matters too. Not everyone is a high-information voter like you. It was anecdotally reported eight years ago that some voters chose George W. Bush over Al Gore because they would "rather have a beer with" Bush than Gore (never mind that Bush says that he is a teetotaler today). You and I have the luxury of being horrified by this, but it's a reality. So where is the harm in a candidate's finding ways to make sure low-information voters know his name, and think he's a cool guy? Again, it's not about choosing style over substance, but about a candidate with substance showing a little style.

    With all due respect, LT, sometimes you sound like a civics teacher. You can lecture us here as much as you want (and I know you will) but the bottom line is, voters choose candidates for all kinds of reasons, many of which you (or even I) would find horrifying. But in my mind it's a GOOD thing when a great candidate like Steve Novick finds ways to appeal to those lower-information voters, who might otherwise cast votes for Gordon Smith in November (as so many of them have done in the past).

    Steve is offering tons of substance to those who desire it. High information voters like you or me will go to his website, watch his video discussions of the various issues, and feast on that substance. I would match up Steve's substance against Jeff Merkley's or anyone else's. But he has an election to win -- actually two elections -- and he can't win them by relying on voters like us. He's reaching out and that's good.

    I quoted Adlai Stevenson to you in another thread the other day. When a supporter said to him, "Every thinking American will vote for you!" he replied, "That's not enough -- I need a majority!" Well, fifty years ago American voters had a lot fewer distractions than they do now. It's a bigger problem than ever. I think you should be pleased that a solid substantive candidate would have so much appeal to low-information voters. If Steve wins we all get the benefits of the substance, and the low-information voters get the thrill of knowing their Senator is a cool dude.

  • LT (unverified)


    Vote for Steve because he is a cool dude with lots of substance (as long as people don't ask detailed questions?) is going to win the primary campaign?

    You are obviously a big fan of Steve, and that is great. Not many years when such passionate support for a candidate comes around for any particular individual. I have been in campaigns like that, and they are a great experience.

    But if I felt that way about Steve, I would be on the phone to the Novick campaign headquarters constantly complaining about the website. It is not enough for Jenni to provide links to the multimedia page here.

    If someone who has just started to get interested in this campaign goes to Jeff's site and to Steve's site, what do they see on the front page? On Jeff's site, right at the top, they see a video of Jeff talking about a plan to end the war in Iraq.

    On the top of Steve's front page they see "you have seen the ad, now drink the beer", the OEA endorsement, the Kitzhaber endorsement. That hasn't changed for quite awhile, as lots of things have been happening in the news.

    If someone wants to know how a candidate will end the war, which website is going to impress them more? Yes, if one clicks on ISSUES then chooses an issue, then clicks on multimedia, Steve has a lot of content. But why isn't something of substance on the front page? Do you really believe every Oregonian cares more about the beer and the endorsements than anything else?

    This isn't about me. This is about winning a Senate election. We have seen this movie before (in 1996, the year Gordon Smith was elected). Even if I were to say "Stephanie is right, I will tell all my friends to vote for Steve", that would not necessarily win Steve the primary. Esp. since my friends debate politics, they don't just blindly support a candidate because someone tells them to.

    STEVE has to show he and his campaign are worthy of the nomination. STEVE needs to speak out on issues. STEVE knows how to get media attention when he wants to, let's see him do it on current events.

    You talk about high information voters and low information voters. That sounds like someone who works in a main campaign office, not someone who has done grass roots campaigning. Sounds to me like Obama has more faith in the intelligence of ordinary folks than you do.

    I have a friend who has always voted for Gordon Smith (even in Jan. 1996--were you involved in Oregon politics back then?). He's been voting for his fellow Mormon (and yes, they don't drink alcoholic beverages). But he told me once that if there was evidence that the recent G. Smith voting record was not what people who supported him in 1996 expected--and there was reason to believe he had become a different person--then he would consider voting for someone else.

    1) Is my friend a high information voter or a low information voter? 2) Why would he vote for Steve in the general election? (No, Jeff's vote on the 2003 resolution would not convince him.)

    And do not be surprised that I sound like a civics teacher, as I had a teaching certificate with Social Studies endorsement.

    Stephanie, on the topic "Jeff Merkley endorses plan to end war in Iraq", Chris Lowe has a comment which should be a model on how to attract voters to Steve.

    But the attitude "You should see Steve through our eyes and support him because...." only causes snide comments among people who read BO but don't comment. Yes, I have been involved in such discussions, but personal discussions the old fashioned way--in person or on the phone. Many of us have worked very hard on campaigns in the past to tell people positive specific reasons to vote for our candidate, but the Novick folks seem to want us to put our minds in neutral, accept that Steve is great because of his endorsements, and not expect him to be strong on issues on the front page of his website or speak out on them in public.

    Chris is trying to earn votes for Steve. Steve's campaign would be smart to try his approach rather than consultant-speak like "high information voters".

  • Faolan (unverified)

    LT you talk too god damn much without using your brain to listen to what other people are actually trying to say.

    Oh my god I have to click three times before I can read the candidates opinions on the issue I'm interested in! Horror! You're the one who doesn't have respect for the intelligence of the average voter.

    Stephanie, you shouldn't bother with him. He's obviously made up his mind long ago and won't change it or even try to listen to a different point of view.

  • Robert G. Gourley (unverified)

    My position is Merkley's too damn tall, and he lacks a hard left hook! And I'm sticking to it!

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