Yesterday afternoon our own Ed Morrissey showed up with Chuck Todd on the daily edition of Meet the Press to discuss his new book, Going Red: The Two Million Voters Who Will Elect the Next President — and How Conservatives Can Win Them. This was a particularly good interview for Ed and Chuck handled the whole thing well. Let’s start with the video in case you missed it. (Once again provided by of our friend Jeff Dunetz.)
As I said, Chuck Todd did a great job here, focusing on why the specific counties which Ed examines in his book are critical to Republican chances in November. But even beyond that, they get the chance to dig down to the business of retail politics and how the GOP can regain some of the ground they lost after the 2000 and 2004 elections. Part of the shift is the natural result of demographic morphing through the normal ebb and flow of population centers, but a big failure of the GOP during the past two election cycles is the simple fact that we don’t show up to play.
You can only get so far in reaching voters in a politically divided region with national campaign messages and a cookie cutter air advertising war. One big complaint from the locals in these swing counties was that they never saw anyone from the national campaigns showing up to find out what they need. And on the rare occasions when they did, it seems as if the real message regarding their specific concerns was getting lost in the fifty state sound bites. Chuck and Ed get into a fair bit of that, as well as why Going Red should be of interest not just to campaign managers and communications directors, but to everyone who is interested in grassroots politics anywhere in the nation. All politics is local, and that applies to every race around the country. The effects are just massively amplified in the counties which Ed focused on.