August 30, 2006
Regrettably, there is not more to report on Doug Roulstone's race to unseat Rep. Rick Larsen. On the good news side of the ledger, the campaign has launched a "Rolling with Roulstone" tour, as shown at the events page at his website. At worst, the many stops on the tour should garner some solid attention in community newspapers.
However, I've expressed some concern (here and here) about some aspects of Roulstone's campaign effort. I haven't seen a lot yet to change that uneasiness.
Roulstone's website is rarely updated, still telling me about his endorsement from John McCain, and even the events page leads with the Gingrich event from July rather than focusing on the tour. Moreover, the website doesn't clearly do what any challenger must: explain directly why he's a better choice than the incumbent - especially since that incumbent has a relatively solid reputation in the district, putting aside partisan differences.
Adding to my trepidation is this primary poll from Survey USA, which confirms Roulstone's campaign doesn't yet have the profile it needs. As has been discussed previously, Roulstone is a well-regarded challenger whose resume and early Republican support garnered national attention. But the 44% undecided figure in the poll is more evidence the campaign needs to pick up the pace and get Doug's name out. Even accepting the fact the sample of likely Republican voters is not large, the results show quite clearly likely Republican voters don't know who Roulstone is. That's not good at all given the poll's proximity to the primary itself.
There is still time to rectify matters with an aggressive campaign from now through the primary and on through the general election, but Roulstone's people have to get moving.
UPDATE: Headline fixed. Also some commenters are confused about my intent on the subject of Roulstone's website. The point is not the frequency of the updates themselves, it is actually providing content that tells the media, undecided voters, and other website viewers that the campaign has momentum, a message, etc. I don't get that at his site now, just a freaky looking picture of John McCain that's been staring at me for weeks.
On a more upbeat note, Roulstone's voter pamphlet statement, which I read tonight, is not only light years ahead of his primary opponent, but takes on Rick Larsen very directly and very effectively. More please.
Posted by Eric Earling at August 30, 2006
07:40 AM | Email This
The Roulstone campaign website has a lot, too much in fact, blue for a Republican. If he were a Canadian or British Conservative, that'd be a different story.
That said, I support Roulstone 4 Congress. Liarsen is a total foul-up.
Don't read too much into the web site issue. Speaking from experience as a political web master for several local and federal level campaigns, and understanding the dynamic use of web sites in our culture, I can tell you that there are really only three groups of people that pay close attention to a candidate's web site: The Media, The candidate's staff, and the opposition. Campaign web sites are an aspect of a campaign that cannot be ignored, but their importance is marginal. An elected office campaign is vastly different from a political cause, ala MoveOn, et al.
What Doug's campaign needs and I believe they are focusing on is name recognition, likeability, and credibility.
I cannot comment further as it would reveal strategy. But I know the folks up there and know how hard they are working to get Doug elected.
It's not an easy thing to unseat a marginal and mostly invisible elected official. But they are on the path and doing the work to overcome the lethargy of the district.
Roulstone has a great chance of upsetting incumbent Larsen.
Historically, Larsen has barely squeeked by against not so great candidates.
This could be his year to be bounced.
FWIW, Roulstone may get elected in part to McGavick running a great campaign against Mar!a.
Posted by: Jamie Walker on August 30, 2006 09:22 AM
You forgot one other group of people whom pay attention to campaign websites: Undecided/swing/general voters wanting more information.
In most cases, that would be me.
Although Doug Roulstone's campaign signs on I-5 have increased in the past month, his lack of website updating is disappointing
When you live in the land of Bill and Craig, your website needs to be updated on a regular basis
Brent, I guess you are saying John Koster and Norma Smith were lightweights? I'd note that Larsen went over 63% against Island County Auditor Suzanne Sinclair in 2004.
Odd too that, when you look at Roulstone's webpage, he has lots of endorsements from out of state Congressman but not a single state legisltor in his own district?
If you think frequency of website updates is going to sway a voter you are an idiot.
I think Doug is one hell of a candidate for the Second District and his staff is trying very hard! They now have an RV tour and will be visiting the Monroe State Fair today from 4:30-8:30??? He is a small business man and a Vet...a wonderful combination! What Doug really needs in Snohomish county is more volunteers willing to do some work and donate some $$$! IMHO, the 38th district (Everett, Marysville, Tulalip) falls well short of volunteers!
Name recognition is the hardest thing for Doug!
Well for one thing the County GOP organization seems to be practically non existent in Snohomish County. Perhaps I only recently discovered something everyone else was already aware of.
In July when I was trying to gather info on the 06 elections their site only had info making reference to the election last November.
In fact as of this moment it still says that they are looking for people to run for the Snohomish County Charter Review Commission in Nov 05 (Eric is familiar with that), seems like the web space would have been put to better use looking for candidates in the 21st legislative district where they didn't field any candidates whatsoever in this years election.
Rick Bart will probably have a tougher run for executive in 07 without any organized party behind him.
I hope Doug Roulstone's district-wide campaign tour helps to bring him some of the name recognition he will need to defeat Rick Larsen.
Doug accompanied Mike McGavick during Mike's appearances in the 2nd District - representing the local media, I attended Mike and Doug's campaign stop in Anacortes. As it was (primarily) a McGavick stop, Doug didn't speak much.
What I heard from Roulstone impressed me, but I couldn't help but think, "this guy will need to work very hard to get the same name-recognition Larsen has". Like him or not, Rick Larsen is more of a household name than many of his Washington State congressional colleagues (save, perhaps "Baghdad" Jim McDermott, who is revered as some sort of minor deity by the radical left in his district). Roulstone could�ve taken a page from Mike McGavick"s campaign book and got the word out well before the July filing deadline that he was a better choice for Congress than Larsen. But, alas, he did not.
Doug stopped by the radio station I work at yesterday, on his way to an appearance at the same place he appeared at with McGavick. He indicated that it may be difficult for his campaign to maintain the radio presence (read: radio commercials) that is currently on the air. I hope that this will not be the case - he's a good candidate, and I hope he wins this fall.