Well, any Democrat who doesn’t start studying the lessons from yesterday is going to be in big trouble. Bob McDonnell ran a nearly perfect campaign, and he deserves tremendous credit for his victory. Lesson learned: you simply have to talk about what you are going to do for voters.
There was one bright spot for me: Scott Surovell’s decisive victory in the 44th. He learned an important lesson early: that this was going to be a base turnout election. So he worked with his campaign staff, with Ben Tribett (aka Not Larry Sabato), numbers guru extraordinaire, and, well, with me. He plotted a strategy and then he worked impossibly hard at executing it. He really reached out to our “surge” voters, especially minority voters. He knocked on their doors. He called them. He listened. And yesterday, they turned out–not at 2008 levels, but at 2005 levels (and that, you may recall, was an election we won).
Lessons learned: Don’t ignore your base.Work hard. Respect your voters.
I’ll have more to say about the losses of two close friends, Shannon Valentine and Margi Vanderhye, later. But I do want to give a big shout out to Scott on a campaign very well run.