Why do the Democrats running for the nomination in the 1st CD believe that they are the most electable? At the Stafford 1st CD Candidate Forum on February 20, Scott Robinson and Krystal Ball had the following to say:
We’ve spent considerable time over the last week plus dissecting the candidate’s stances on everything from health care to the environment. At the end of the day, it all comes down to who is best positioned to win in November. That candidate is clearly Krystal Ball.
Scott takes an oddly simplistic view of why he believes he is the most electable:
I personally believe that with my background, I was raised here, I was a waterman as a kid, my family worked on the water and I’m a veteran.
Note to Scott, Krystal was raised here too (King George). I don’t see his point. I also have great respect for waterman, but I just can’t see the waterman pushing Scott over the top to victory. To his last point, being a veteran doesn’t mean that other veterans are going to just support you. It is all about who has the better ideas. If being a veteran were a sure recipe for success, we would have beaten Wittman (R-Va.) in 2007. In 2007 a special election was held, due to the unfortunate passing of Rep. Jo Ann Davis (R-Va.). Wittman squared off against Iraq war veteran Phil Forgit (D-Va.) and he won in a landslide, defeating him with 63 percent of the vote.
Scott’s campaign has regularly shown a total disconnect from reality and regularly takes a very simplistic view of things, which in and of itself should provide many a reason to pause. Scott actually goes on to explain that he has a very “simple” plan to cut into margins and win in November:
…the places that I’m going to cut into margins are real simple. The Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula. Rob and I are going to split 50/50. Cause I’m from there and he’s from there. I’m pretty well known in the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula…
Scott’s entire plan, if you listen to everything he has to say, relies on people voting for him because of where he is from, what he did as a child as a waterman and the fact that veterans will vote for a veteran. This sort of strategy may win you a popularity contest, but no way is this going to win you an election. An election is won on ideas and a successful campaign strategy. Both of which is severely lacking from his campaign.
The opposite can be said about Krystal and her campaign. Over the last week plus, I’ve indicated why I think Krystal is better on just about every issue from health care to guns to job creation to the environment. She gets it. She also understands what it will take to win. Her campaign strategy focuses on 3 areas: Money, Mobilization and Message.
As I noted when I endorsed her back in January, she has raised more money than the last 3 democratic candidates were able to raise, combined, throughout their entire campaigns for this seat. She has raised over $400 thousand and is on pace to raise the $3 million it is going to take to be competitive in this district. Krystal also understands that the way we are going to win this seat is through an “unprecedented field operation.” Her volunteer growth has been nothing short of breathtaking. At the current pace in volunteer growth, her campaign will be in a position to knock on every single door within the district. It’s this sort of effort that will be needed, if we have any chance at winning in November. Her message has also shown to be an appealing one to Democrats, independents and even some Republicans. As Krystal explains:
Now, I’m a small business owner, I work in education, I’m a CPA, I worked designing accounting systems with the federal government. This is a background that has been very appealing to independent and moderated minded folks who are so frustrated with what’s been going on in Washington. And the way that I know that this is an appealing message is because over 25 percent of my contributions come from self-identified Republicans.
Krystal’s message clearly resonates with folks from different sides of the political spectrum. She also understands the lessons learned from the 2009 election:
If I learned one thing from the Creigh Deeds campaign, it’s that we have to make sure in a year when the president is not on the ticket, that first and foremost, our people are excited about coming out and voting for a candidate, that our people are excited about going out to work and knock doors.
The base never showed up for Creigh. Krystal understands that you need to reach out to a broad base of Virginians to win, which she is clearly doing, but she also understands that it is just as important to get the base excited and make sure that they show up. That is a winning strategy!
Their closing statements also painted sharply different pictures of what a potential matchup with Wittman may look like:
Scott accused Wittman of stealing every idea his campaign has put forward and selling it as his own. He suggested that Wittman had put together a flier, which suggested that Scott was “the threat.” Now I have haven’t seen this supposed flier, but this totally contradicts what Scott later says when talking about the flier:
He knows what the threat is. What I can’t understand is why he hasn’t come after me. That’s what’s puzzling to me.
Scott, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. The only threat you pose is to our chances of winning this seat.
Krystal clearly makes the case on why Wittman is a bad fit for the district, let alone Democrats. As Krystal rightfully concludes:
…Rob Wittman is the worst type of incumbent. He is the type of person who takes money from special interests and votes exactly the way they tell him to vote, takes money from the banks and votes against basic consumer financial protections, takes money from the health insurance lobby and, forget about health care reform, he votes against health insurance for poor children. This is someone who has never created a job, he has not in his adult life worked in the private sector, he does not know anything about economics. This is someone who has not only a bad fit for us as Democrats. He is a terrible representative for this district and we have a chance this year, while he is new, while he is rated number 432 in terms of influence, while he is one of the 10 least effective members of Congress, while we are out fundraising him. This is the year to unseat him.
If all of this isn’t enough to convince you that Krystal is one heck of a candidate and is best positioned to “unseat” Wittman, look at a recent endorsement by Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA), Chairman, Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. In his endorsement he notes that
Krystal will be a strong champion of our armed service members and a fierce advocate for our veterans and their families, both inside and out of the district. I am impressed by her call to service and with her background as a CPA and small business owner. I believe she has a valuable perspective from which to legislate on economic issues, and will be the best voice for Virginia’s first district.
I’m proud to support Krystal and urge everyone else to do the same.