Earlier today, one of this blog's readers was disagreeing with me, a frequent, and not unwelcome occurrence. The subject of our disagreement was the topic of the importance of the Internet to the congressional campaigns of New York's 24th District.
I have maintained all along that it is the Internet that, if used skillfully and with dedication, can provide the necessary edge to a Democratic candidate in our district. The Democratic candidate, no matter who it is, starts the campaign behind the Republican, and so it's important for the Democratic candidate to campaign in ways that the Republican opposition could not anticipate and does not know how to counter. The Internet, as a new form a communication, is perfect for this sort of maneuvering.
At least that's how I see it. There have been plenty of people this year telling me that I'm full of it, and that the Internet just doesn't matter to most people and can't be an effective part of the campaign. These people reassure me that Michael Arcuri is campaigning with experienced people who know how these things are done around here, and how they have always been done.
Another reader pointed out, quite insightfully, that the last thing we need is a Democratic campaign that does things the way that they've always been done. After all, when was the last time that a Democrat actually won a congressional campaign in the 24th District? Think way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, back now.
See, maybe all those tried and true methods have been tried over and over again, and the only thing that they deliver truly is defeat. As the second reader commented, do we really want Mike Arcuri to repeat the mistakes of the past?
The answer of the people who say that the Internet doesn't matter to campaigning seems to be yes. It's these sort of people who seem to be in charge of Michael Arcuri's campaign, and that's not a good sign for how things are going to go.
If you match up a play-it-safe Democratic campaign against a play-it-safe Republican campaign in the 24th District, the Democrat is going to lose... no matter how many parades he appears in, waving at the crowd from the back of a car... and no matter how hard the Democrat panders to right wing interest groups in order to try to steal Republican votes away from the Republican.
Faced with two mushy moderate candidates, voters will always choose the mushy moderate from their own party, and in this district, the party with the most registered voters is the Republican Party.
Michael Arcuri's campaign needs to rethink its reliance on campaigning-by-numbers, cast off the dead weight traditionalists, and start moving fast and sleek - and no, it can't wait until September to come from behind. With every passing week, Michael Arcuri's campaign is falling farther behind.