National Journal: Dave Marsden “counting on Obama”

By VA Blogger

sd37The National Journal’s On Call blog has a write-up on the 37th District special, covering the basic dynamics of the race. It’s worth noting that the story neatly identifies what has been established as a basic fact: that Dave Marsden has a record of supporting tax hikes, and that his campaign is confusingly running as a fiscal conservative who will stand up against Governor Bob McDonnell’s fiscally conservative agenda, while making vague and nebulous threats of “one-party rule” and whispers of allusions of Steve Hunt’s social conservatism that they don’t want to get caught actually discussing.


To mix metaphors, the National Journal paints a picture of a candidate straddling the fence while merely dipping his toes on each side. Meanwhile, his manager acknowledges this is a turnout election, but its tough to see them matching the determination of a cadre of volunteers that knock on doors in the midst of a blizzard for Steve Hunt, particularly with their scattershot message. For instance, Marsden is touting himself as fiscally responsible and as someone who is concerned about government spending… and then the article notes that he’s “counting on President Obama” to win him votes. Yeesh.


  • Rob Iola says:

    I get it – Marsden will do and say anything to get elected. The problem is the only messages I’ve been seeing are from Marsden, both on TV and in the blogosphere. Either Hunt’s relying on a terrific GOTV team wearing out their shoes or he’s waiting an awfully long time to take to the airwaves…

  • Lovettsville Lady says:

    He’s using Obama’s picture on his mailers? That is hilarious! What a dumb move. Is Marsden unaware of Obama’s rapidly dropping poll numbers?

  • Gretchen Laskas says:

    I think it is great that given a special election, a holiday in the middle of the campaign, AND blizzards we have people out there knocking on doors and getting their vote out. I would simply add that plenty of Democrats are doing this as well!

  • VA Blogger says:

    Rob, the Hunt campaign has sent out over 150,000 pieces of mail, knocked on over 15,000 doors, and has made as many, if not more, phone calls. If you don’t live in the district, you wouldn’t be seeing these things.

  • Rob Iola says:

    Fair enough – I don’t live in the district (used to before moving to Loudoun) so I figured I was missing the local effort. Are the Dems running a similar ground game for the Marsden campaign, or is the Hunt team putting them to shame?

  • Brian S. says:

    I have seen no evidence of a Democratic ground game. I’ve seen a few signs in Fair Lakes and that’s it. No lit drops at my house, no one knocking doors, although this would have been hard until Monday because we were snowed in pretty good. I’ve gotten a ton of the Marsden schizo-message direct mail pieces, but I’ve gotten just as many from Steve Hunt and his are all far more effective. The Hunt folks have got some great photos of Marsden looking dumb. Other than that, my wife got a single polling call from Marsden, and we’ve seen one TV ad on during Morning Joe on MSNBC and that’s about it. And that ad was horrible. The first fifteen seconds are touted Marsden, and the second fifteen seconds are attacking Hunt. It’s pretty elementary in the contrast ad business that you put your attacks first and your bio stuff last. Throw in that the attacks were dumb and his bio called him a “fiscal conservative” which no one believes and it was a waste of money.
    This is a turnout election, and I would actually be pissed if Hunt was blowing money on TV ads that may raise his name ID but don’t generally get voters to the polls. All his cash now needs to go into his ground game.

  • Bwana says:

    I reckon this straddling makes Marsden a latter day Mugwump-he’s got his mug on one side of the fence and his wump on the other…

  • LL, you can’t make this stuff up. Zipperhead over at NTH thinks Obama’s doing a swell job and is cruizin into 2012 as a two-timer. That’s just how far from reality some folks are. Nevermind that their outlook is in STARK contrast to the majority of Americans (nearly 55%)who want this affirmative-action nightmare to end sooner than later.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    Yeesh indeed. This Marsden campaign is truly a schizo mess!

  • Gretchen Laskas says:

    Brian– our situation us almost mirror image to yours. We’ve rec’d tons of mailings, phone calls etc. from the Marsden campaign (none from Hunt, which shows good sense on his part!) and it was my husband who was polled by Republicans. I’m sure our respective spouses skewed both sets of data!

  • Lovettsville Lady says:

    I hear that those poll results are overwhelming in favor of Steve. Of course it’s ALL about turnout. I think that works in Steve’s favor since republicans are FIRED UP. They are also scared. Obama’s actions are scaring the heck out of people. They know what the future will hold for their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren if Obama and the democrats aren’t stopped. Republicans will show up a the polls. Democrats voting for a carpetbagger who will vote to raise taxes, again, not so much.

  • Brian S. says:

    Steve is leading in the polls, but polls don’t really matter that much in a special. Even a double digit lead can evaporate if people don’t bother showing up.

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