The Corner

Election ’02 Flash Republicans May Be Betting On Wrong Issue

Just two of North Carolina’s 13 congressional districts are in play this year: the competitive 8th District along the South Carolina line from Charlotte to Ft. Bragg and the new 13th District that runs along the Virginia border from Greensboro to Raleigh. In both, the Republican candidates are turning in the last week to national security as an issue. Threatened incumbent Robin Hayes in the 8th has a new TV ad that features President Bush, jets taking off, waving flags, the works. But in neither race has the Democrat come out against the president on the war. Looks like an attempt to change the political subject. It may be thwarted in that the Dems have already taken steps to neutralize the issue. Could be a mistake GOP candidates are replicating elsewhere–downplaying other issues like taxes where the contrast is more stark.

John Hood is a syndicated columnist and the president of the John William Pope Foundation, a North Carolina–based grantmaker.

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