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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Rove's Analysis

Bloomberg journalist Sheelah Kolhatkar got into a briefing for major donors.  Karl Rove spoke:
Rove explained that Crossroads had conducted extensive focus groups and shared polling and focus group data with “all the major groups that are playing” in the election. “As many of you know, one of the most important things about Crossroads is: We don’t try and do this alone. We have partners,” he said. “The Kochs—you name it.”
What had emerged from that data is an “acute understanding of the nature of those undecided, persuadable” voters. “If you say he’s a socialist, they’ll go to defend him. If you call him a ‘far out left-winger,’ they’ll say, ‘no, no, he’s not.’” The proper strategy, Rove declared, was criticizing Obama without really criticizing him—by reminding voters of what the president said that he was going to do and comparing it to what he’s actually done. “If you keep it focused on the facts and adopt a respectful tone, then they’re gonna agree with you.”
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 “We spent—outside groups spent $110 million and Romney spent $42 million,” Rove continued. “So the bad guys [Democrats] spent $130 million and the good guys [Republicans] spent $152 million, and our money didn’t go as far as theirs because we couldn’t buy at the lowest unit rate. Really, it was sort of roughly equivalent, and we fought it to a draw.” And that, Rove pointed out, was after a brutal Republican primary. “We have to keep in mind whose vote we’re trying to get—it ain’t the delegate from Alaska. It’s not the alternate from Alabama. It’s some undecided voter in the battleground state who likes the president.
Rove spoke of Congress:
He also detailed plans for Senate and House races, and joked, “We should sink Todd Akin. If he’s found mysteriously murdered, don’t look for my whereabouts!”
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There are six Republican incumbents Rove identified as in jeopardy, but the biggest risk to Republican hopes of retaking the Senate is Todd Akin in Missouri, following his comments about “legitimate rape.” Rove urged every attendee to apply pressure on Akin to convince him to leave the race. “We have five people who are interested” in replacing Akin, Rove said. “We don’t care who the nominee is, other than get Akin out.”