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Political consultants have a way of getting carried away and saying things they quickly regret. Believe me, I’ve been there.
So it was with Dustin Ingalls, assistant director of Public Policy Polling, who told a Cumberland County Democratic group:
“We have to absolutely eviscerate McCrory….It’s going to have to be a very negative campaign.”
Just before that, McCrory’s ad man, Fred Davis, got his dose of a media spanking when his slash-and-burn memo on attacking President Obama went public.
Consultants have a stock answer when they hear complaints about negative campaigns. They shake their heads patiently and say something like: “Well, voters always say they don’t like negative ads, but they always pay attention to them.”
Which is why some consultants strive to prove they’re the toughest, meanest SOB in the political valley. Sort of like young guns out to prove they’re the fastest gun in the Old West.
Voters, of course, recognize a negative ad when they see one. Which may be why Karl Rove & Co. rejected the scorched-earth approach in their “Basketball” ad for Crossroads GPS. Rather than rip out Obama’s throat, they go for a kinder, gentler tone. They acknowledge that voters had good reason to vote for him in 2008, but they suggest that the voter is now feeling let down and disappointed.
That might strike just the right note with swing voters. And cut through the poison.
A lot of consultants can make predictable negative ads. Few can make really good negative ads. And fewer still can make the most powerful thing in politics: a great positive ad.


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One comment on “Eviscerating Politics

  1. dap916 says:

    WOW! First of all, Dustin Ingalis isn’t a political consultant. Nice try, Gary. He’s employed by PPP (Public Policy Polling). So, let’s ALL get that straight first off.

    You posted that about Dustin, I’m sure, to show that you are against him and what he did…and then, you never mentioned him again in your little diatribe here. Guess you could “say” that you posted something negative about Dustin if ever questioned about him or just to show you do go against something “wrong” in our polling environment. You’re slick, gotta say that, Gary.

    Dustin is employed by Public Policy Polling (PPP) and he went to a democratic event and told them what they needed to do to win over McCrory. Yeah, that’s what “non-partisan” polling agencies do, Youbetcha.

    Nice try, Gary.

    Here’s the scoop: “other day Dustin Ingalis, one of the PPP’s pollsters, went down to Fayetteville and explained to the local Democratic Men’s Club what the Democrats need to do to defeat Pat McCrory this fall – he said, “To win… we have to absolutely eviscerate McCrory… we have to just slash McCrory… death by a thousand cuts.”

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