Ken Mehlman has the right idea - step down. In my lifetime, I can't recall an election in Montgomery County where every Republican lost. The strategy was a complete failure. To paraphrase Governor Ehrlich, microtargeting is bunk. The architects behind this strategy should be held accountable. I can tell you that as a candidate, we had no support from Annapolis or the national party. Now it's time those people were held accountable. It's time to step down.
We had only our most diehard precinct chairs at their posts. Democrats were laughing at me all day, when the subject of Republican volunteers at the polls came up. Angry, determined Democrats were passing me all day as they stomped into the polling places. I managed to obtain a Democratic sample ballot. Paid for by the state Democratic party
, these easy to use guides were handed out at the polls and had an edition for each district
. The bad news is, Republicans weren't handing out sample ballots. The even worse news is, we had a sample ballot but never utilized it!
I know because my brother created it! The state Party never stepped up to the plate. All funds were directed to Ehrlich, Steele, and favored candidates. All of whom lost, by the way. I find the approval of even the most nonsensical ballot questions followed the answers given in that Democratic sample ballot. So obviously, those ballots affected the outcome. The psychological effect alone of not having someone at least handing out a ballot at each polling place was clearly demonstrated. I'm skeptical of the benefit of literature at the polling place; rarely does anyone stop at those now-disappearing tables and most have made up their mind already. I think it would be sufficient to have the information neatly summarized on a sample ballot. It seemed to work well for the Democrats. We need to have at least one person handing out such a ballot at each polling place.
Besides microtargeting, we heard much about volunteers and volunteers who would sweep into Montgomery County on Election Day from out-of-state. And they would "bring out the base!" Anytime now, guys.
The Republican Party is now totally irrelevant in Montgomery County until 2010. I can't think of a more compelling argument for a new direction. It will be days or weeks before the full data can be analyzed as to who came out to vote, but I can tell you a bit about one of a number of groups supporting me. They are comprised of Republicans, Reagan Democrats, and Independents. People who, when you mention the Republican Party, think of Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan. Leaders who knew what was great about this country and this Party. Who were more concerned with breaking down walls than building new ones. Who knew that everyone had to have stake in the outcome in order to preserve our nation. The divisive tactics of recent years have been an utter failure. The number of Latinos voting for Republicans was essentially halved in this election. Ironically, Latinos, African-Americans, Asians, and other ethnic groups share the essence of our true Republican values of family, ownership societies, and market economics. We must return to those values. Without, importantly, sacrificing other values such as the defense of life and our Constitutional rights, as some desperate opportunists are recommending in recent days. We've got to respectfully make the case that we represent a majority in this county and this state, however hard that may be to believe after Tuesday.
I was able to bring out small numbers of this group and many other groups through my own hard work. Often they were not touched -and certainly not motivated - by party efforts. What could we have accomplished had the state and national parties used a real strategy and, most importantly, not sacrificed the rest of us for the financial benefit of a few campaigns?
"We were hit by a tidal wave!" "It's all Bush's fault!" Hogwash. If so, how were Tom Davis, Frank Wolf, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and other Republicans reelected? It's time for the leaders of this debacle, this catastrophe, to stop the excuses, be accountable, and step down.