Friday, August 20, 2010

Consultants Measure Calvey-Lankford Runoff

The McCarville Report Online asked several political consultants and operatives not involved in the 5th District congressional race for their opinions about the status of the campaign between Kevin Calvey and James Lankford. Edited only to remove comments about the consultants involved in the campaigns, here are their remarks:

"Run-offs are party faithful elections. Calvey has the advantage there because the party faithful wants a proven conservative record – they usually don’t take any chances. But, Lankford has the momentum. All of the negative mail and push polling is, in my opinion, meaningless and only pushing the eventual turnout down. Get out the vote is the only campaign tactic that either campaign should be spending the lion share of their budget on, not TV and certainly not mail. In Calvey’s case, his mail piece might actually be hurting him. The question is, can Lankford turn out his base that pushed him into the lead in the primary one more time?"

"I think it will be very close. A turnout game. The real question is, what is the effect of the Calvey negative? Does it suppress the 'casual' Lankford voter who liked the message of changing the status quo, but did not really know a lot about Lankford? Or do the attacks ring hollow and backfire? We don't know yet."

"I think Calvey's going to get crazier as the weekend progresses. He is so stinking desperate to be (a) congressman I think he'd sell his children. I heard that he sent out a letter that hit yesterday about him attending St. John the Baptist Church to try and make himself look Baptist. I know very few Calvey supporters."

"Kevin's apparently taken the scorched earth approach here in the final days...I don't think that will work. Lankford's already pretty well defined himself as an outsider and Calvey as the longtime politician, and here Calvey is doing what politicians do, attacking their opponents when they have no traction on the issues. This probably will just fire up Lankford's supporters even more."

"Calvey's coming across as a whiner. Not good."

"Calvey has lost a lot of credibility which many (including myself) predicted.... He has overused his military background to the point many are just saying enough already and even more damaging is that his attacks on Lankford have offended more people than they have won. His close supporters have all but given up on him and if he didn't have so many loyal friends he would have no volunteers. He has lost this race himself and I predict a 15-20 point victory for Lankford."

"Lankford. He's got momentum. I find Calvey's campaign over the top, banal, almost offensive. He's prostituting the uniform and real veterans know it. Runoff
leaders win 3/4s of the time. Calvey can still pull it off, but he has yet to make a case for himself."

"I think Calvey has gained some ground. Not sure about the validity of what he's saying, though."

"My sense is Calvey is getting Lankford's people fired up. In a low turnout election advantage James. Calvey has no soul. Curious what he'll come up with today at 11:00."

"I think it is a real race but I would give the edge to Lankford because I believe his base is solid."

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