The Campaign Spot

A Diagnosis of What Ails Tedisco, From New York’s 20th District

A reader in the 20th congressional district of New York writes that she’s not surprised that Republican Jim Tedisco is losing ground as the election nears:

I am not one bit surprised that Tedisco’s negatives have gone up.  I’m a committed conservative, and I can easily see why folks around here are feeling more negative towards him, despite the fact my parents know him personally and I 100% support his candidacy.  Just seeing Jim’s commercials make me feel depressed.


Here’s why:  the RNC and state GOP came in and did negative commercials right away.  All the mailings about Jim have been negative about Murphy.  Even though the commercials about Murphy are accurate and on target, their tone is really ill-timed:  the commercials are mocking and attempt to be slightly humorous, satiric in tone, instead of serious, which is pretty much how most people in upstate NY are feeling about the economy right now.  One commercial makes fun of Murphy for creating jobs in India.  I can hear my neighbors now:  “Who cares?  AT LEAST HE CAN CREATE JOBS!  Woo hoo!”


We just came out of a grueling election.  This district has gone from solidly Republican to borderline after an influx of fancy-schmancy liberals from Manhattan due to Saratoga Springs’ renaissance (I’ve lived here 10 years and pass by many a “weekend retreat” in the city).  New York is in serious fiscal trouble and upstaters have always felt ignored by state and national politicians.  People were ready to elect a well-known local guy to national office and buck the NY Democratic tsunami.  And we get this?  Funny commercials that are all negative?  People want empathy, seriousness, and a sense of direction.  Enough of typical politics already!


Tedisco needed to come out and sound like he really is:  genial, concerned about local folks, hard-working, effective and purposeful.  Instead, we get nothing.  No points of action.  No plans.  Not even a direct comment on the stimulus plan, which the Dems are using in commercials to pound him over the head.


And Murphy’s commercials?  On-location heartstring-tugging panoramas of him having dinner with extended family every Sunday–locally–with nothing bad to say about Tedisco.  There goes the “he’s a money-hungry carpetbagger” image.


I love Jim Tedisco and know he’d make a great Congressman.  We’re making the effort to vote by absentee ballot since we’ll be out of town on March 31.  But I’m afraid the GOP really bungled this one–AGAIN.


Republicans “think” and Democrats “feel”, but in times like these when people’s emotions are raw, the GOP had better learn that sometimes you have to be a little touchy-feely.

Tedisco himself appears to agree with this reader:

It’s time to separate “the real Jim Tedisco” from the partisan negativity his own national party has portrayed in the campaign so far, Republican and Conservative congressional candidate James Tedisco said.
Reacting to his Democratic opponent’s surge in the polls, Tedisco said Thursday he’s taking control of the content of his advertising from the National Republican Congressional Committee.
“I’m taking over and we’re going to run a campaign that relates to the people of the 20th Congressional District,” he said.

You have to know the district, and know the voters’ mood . . .


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