Last evening I was on the RGA’s conference call with Gov. Haley Barbour.
I had the great opportunity to speak directly with the RGA Chairman about Ohio’s gubernatorial race. We discussed the similarities to New Jersey, and what was necessary to win.
First and foremost, this race, just like New Jersey and all other re-election campaigns, will be a referendum on the incumbent.
A race about Ted Strickland.
And yesterday – one day into the official 2010 campaign season, the ORP struck.
We also discussed what he would recommend so far as Kasich’s roll out of his own plans for Ohio. Barbour said, as I’ve mentioned here many times before, that a smart campaign would hold off until spring to release the first details of new policy. From there, Kasich would string out more policy announcements intermittently through early September. This strategy accomplishes three important tasks:
- In a difficult time for Ohio, it enables the focus to stay on Strickland. By keeping out of the debate until spring, it makes it difficult for Strickland to deflect criticism. Without someone to speak against, Strickland is stuck defending his record.
- By releasing policy details at a steady pace, the media cycle is utilized to provide positive press throughout the summer. In addition, by holding off until spring, Kasich’s ideas don’t risk the chance of becoming stale in the minds of voters.
- In the mold of Virginia’s Bob McDonnell, a spring policy rollout will enable Kasich to present to the electorate a legitimate alternative on the issues that matter to Ohioans.
But I’ll reiterate what Barbour insisted on reinforcing: Ohio must be a referendum on Strickland.
And with websites like ORP’s TurnaroundTed.com, the powers that be are listening.