You’ve read the news. A win for Republicans in Virginia. A very possible upset win in New Jersey. Countless Republican wins down ballot all across the country. Those down ballot local and county races spell disaster for the Democrats, as Republicans waltzed to solid wins in everything from school board to county row office races. It’s one of those races we’ll look at.
Churchill said, “History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.” So it is here, as the story of a nationally indicative race comes to me quite easily. I was the winning Campaign Director for Republican candidate John Fielding. He ran for Coroner in Berks County, Pennsylvania. It was a Republican victory.
John Fielding is a Republican attorney, Navy veteran, local elected official, and now the Coroner-elect of Berks. He is a movement Republican and has been so since his youth. He has more educational degrees than Joe Biden has nap times. He had run for the office before and lost. But this was his year.
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His opponent was a Dem incumbent appointed into the office. Berks is a red county that went big for Trump. It has a poverty-stricken core in the city of Reading and prosperous burbs surrounding the city. Fielding raised a good amount and self-funded. The Democrat hardly raised a dime. He had some in-kind contributions. They were not large.
We knew we would have a Republican wind at our back. The Biden administration has become an albatross around the neck of most Democrats in the country. Look at New Jersey. We saw in Pennsylvania that school board races were really running up Republican turnout. The weather favored us too, as it was cold, wet, and rainy. Bad weather always favors Republicans, as Dems are easily discouraged by inclement weather.
We decided on a strategy of expanding commo themes to a national message in front of core Republican audiences. In paid media we stressed our candidate’s positive professional career and a solid personal life. The opponent had some issues regarding his management of the office and some not wholly favorable recreational habits. We didn’t want to hit him with a negative strategic attack, as we wanted to stay generally positive.
But we produced a very effective contrast spot and a local conservative PAC hit him hard on the way he ran his office and his personal image. They aimed to lower his vote with suburban Dem females. We got the hint and targeted a direct mailer accordingly. The one-two punch was very successful. We ended up winning by about 54-46. Our prior internal prognostication had us at 53.
Could we have won without the Biden albatross and the school board turnout phenomenon? Probably. But that certainly helped a great deal. Even more so, now that Republicans have tasted wins in Virginia, perhaps New Jersey, and even down ballot in county races like Fielding’s victory, they will be motivated to give the Dems a jolly good pranging next November.