by Michael Lowrey
Interesting blog post today by Thomas Mills of Politics NC:
While Democrats like me are pontificating about why Democrats lost and what they need to do to win in the future, Republicans have their own ideas about what happened. Democrats would be wise to listen.
In North Carolina, the GOP says, Democrats made three major mistakes. They ran misleading ads on three issues central to their message and got called on it. In essence, Republicans believe that Democrats lost credibility with the voters and the internet, as much as the Republican counter ads, drove the point home.
Republicans, however, think something different transpired. They believe that when swing voters started tuning into the election in mid to late October, they went to the internet, not the ads, to get their information. When they checked on the Democrats’ central messages, they found that independent news organizations said they were false or, at least, misleading.
This theory jibes with the changing manner in which people are gathering and consuming information. In the Walmart Moms focus group in Charlotte in mid October, a group of mainly undecided women voters knew very little about either Thom Tillis or Kay Hagan despite almost $100 million in ads. Several women said they would go online to learn more about the candidates before they voted.
Pollster Neil Newhouse, who conducts the Walmart Moms focus groups, jokingly tweeted that the women would “crash Google” trying to figure out for whom to vote. However, Republicans in North Carolina believe that’s what happened. They may be right and, if they weren’t, they almost certainly will be in the near future.