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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Best Laid Plans

Before everyone becomes convinced that the results of the midterm elections are already carved into stone, by the zeitgeist, the “enthusiasm gap,” the economy, or the electoral map, it’s a good idea to be reminded that weird things can happen between and betwixt campaigns and election days.
Rather obviously, no one much thought Christine O’Donnell would be the Republican Senate nominee in Delaware a couple of weeks ago.
But there’s another example developing down in Georgia, where Republican gubernatorial nominee Nathan Deal’s long-simmering ethics issues about his private businesses just got considerably reinforced by his forced admission that he’s got some very large business debts that he somehow forgot to disclose on legally required state disclosures.
Deal’s trying to reassure supporters on various fronts: arguing the loans were to help out his daughter, who had stumbled into a really bad business investment; asserting he’s entirely solvent; trying a sort of Bill Clintonish “I feel your pain” message aimed at voters with financial problems; and, of course, blaming the whole incident on the godless liberal news media and his political opponents.
But a quick poll of the governor’s race taken last night by Insider Advantage indicates Deal has lost the lead he appeared to have opened up on Democratic Roy Barnes in the weeks after his nomination.
Deal may well recover and win handily. But like developments in Delaware, his latest problems are a handy reminder that for all the importance of fundamentals, money and message, the best laid plans of candidates can be blown up by the unforeseeable event.

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