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David Nir <davidnyc@gmail.

com>

Memorandum RE: Democratic Victory in WV-GOV


Elisabeth Smith <smith@dga.net> To: Elisabeth Smith <smith@dga.net> Wed, Oct 5, 2011 at 8:46 AM

Memorandum RE: Democratic Victory in WV-GOV To: Interested Parties From: DGA Communications Date: October 5, 2011 Contact: Lis Smith, DGA Communications Director. 202-355-3796 (c), 202-772-5620 (o) As you know, Democrat Earl Ray Tomblin won last night in the West Virginia governors race, fending off more than $5 million in Republican television ads that attempted to smear his character and nationalize the race. After victories in two special Congressional elections last month, national Republicans went all-in on the race- they spent heavily, threw everything but the kitchen sink at Tomblin, and attempted to score a political point at President Obama's expense. And the national media was right there with them. Questions were raised about what this race meant for Democratic candidates, what it portended for the president, and whether it indicated the sky was falling for the Democratic Party in 2012. What we learned from last nights results were that: 1- Local issues, effective governing, and proven results matter in a race; 2- Efforts to tear down President Obamaeven in a state that went overwhelmingly for John McCain in 2008have their limits; 3- And a wise, targeted investment of resources trumps flashy, exorbitant expenditures. What WV-Gov Means West Virginia is a conservative-leaning state. John McCain won West Virginia by 13 points in 2008, a banner year for Democrats. With polls showing a challenging national terrain, Governor Tomblin faced considerable challenges in his election bid. As Nate Silver wrote yesterday, West Virginia has turned into a red state at the presidential level and would be thought of as conservative by most definitions, especially on cultural issues. Republicans tried to take advantage of West Virginias conservative leanings and the challenging atmosphere. They attempted to capitalize on it by nationalizing the race.

Democrats, on the other hand, put an emphasis on local issues: jobs, taxes, and responsible governance. In Governor Tomblin, we had a candidate who was in touch with his electorate and who put together a broad-based coalition of groups ranging from labor to the Chamber of Commerce to the National Rifle Association. And he was a leader who had worked hand-in-hand with now-Senator Joe Manchin to put West Virginia on a stable and fiscally responsible path. While Democrats touted Governor Tomblins record of creating jobs and cutting taxes, we also highlighted the obvious shortcomings of his Republican opponent, Bill Maloney. A New York native, Bill Maloney moved to West Virginia, took advantage of taxpayer-funded loans to get rich, and then profited from his company sending West Virginia jobs to Pennsylvania. As a candidate for governor, Maloney opposed business incentives that helped bring Macys, Amazon, and Cabelas to West Virginia, even though hed profited from similar incentives in his business career. He also said that West Virginia should reject all federal funding for educationa position that would have cost West Virginia schools $350 million. The Democratic Governors Association highlighted Maloneys out-of-touch business background and risky positions in paid media. Spending From day one, the DGA knew that this would be a challenging race. We budgeted accordingly and stuck to our budget. In total, we spent $1.8 million on television advertising in the stateevery dime of which targeted West Virginia voters. In contrast, the RGA spent $3.6 million on television advertisements, including a last minute $800,000 buy in the Washington, DC market. Their buy generated a lot of attention, but little in the way of results. For $800,000, the RGA was only able to buy 300 points (1/3 of what is needed to penetrate a market) and reached just 12.8% of West Virginians. Politicos Dave Catanese highlighted the shortcomings of the RGAs strategy: The 30-second spot charging Tomblin with complicity in the implementation of Obamacare rotated heavily in the Mountain State this weekend, including during prime slots in the pricey Washington D.C. market, which covers just a few thousand voters in the states eastern panhandle. But Maloney, a first-time candidate and political novice, underperformed in that area, taking only 49 percent in Jefferson County, the easternmost county in the state. What People Are Saying @HotlineJosh: Strong work by the DGA -- they won't be picking up seats, but Beshear winning

BIG in #KYGOV and impt Tomblin win in #WVGOV @PeterHambyCNN: Thought GOP was gonna pull it out in #wvgov race. Big win for Democrats in a state that's far from Obama-friendly. @murphymike: Dems hold WVa, I thought we might grab upset here. RT @TheFix Earl Ray Tomblin (D) wins West Va governors race, sez AP. Hotline: The Republican Governors Association spent heavily on their ad tying Tomblin to Obama in the very expensive D.C. media market, which extends across to the Eastern Panhandle, hoping to boost Republican turnout. Daily Mail: Tomblin and Democratic leaders blasted the influence of outside groups like the Republican Governors Association, which spent $3.4 million in negative ads during the campaign. We may be open for business but, ladies and gentlemen, West Virginia is not for sale, Tomblin said. WSAZ: Tonight's result is proof that West Virginians appreciate ideas, Tomblin said during his victory speech. They value experience, and they want our state to continue to move forward ... I have always tried to do what is best for all of West Virginia, from the Northern and Eastern Panhandles to the Ohio River and the southern coalfields. We have geographic differences, but we are united by our desire to move our state forward and make it all that it can be. Bottom Line Last nights result was a clear blow to national Republicans. When presented with a clear choice, West Virginia voters went with a proven job-creator and tax-cutter in Earl Ray Tomblin. Along with Tomblins campaign, the DGA successfully headed off attempts to nationalize the race and we provided a strong blueprint for our future races. Looking ahead to 2012, the DGA will continue to marshal our resources wisely and focus on issues that matter to voters in individual states across the country.

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