Sunday, August 17, 2014

More On the Miller Endorsement of Michelle Nunn

Political endorsements for a candidate are like getting a letter of recommendation for a job interview. 

I wrote a blog post a while back stating Michelle Nunn should pay a visit to the North Georgia Mountains and I wasn't talking about for a vacation. I was talking about securing an endorsement from probably the most popular politician in the history of the state Zell Miller. And not to my surprise he came out and endorse her candidacy for the U.S. Senate.
(D) Michelle Nunn with former Governor (D) Zell Miller

It’s a familiar refrain among politicos: Endorsements often don’t matter. On a national level, the endorsements that garner the biggest headlines are often the awkward ones—nods from celebrities or endorsements from former opponents. It’s not that they’re completely meaningless, but it just  endorsements are often much harder for campaigns to parlay into real help on the campaign trail. But on the state and local level, endorsements can pay big dividends.

On Thursday, Former Georgia Governor and Senator Zell Miller came out and threw his support behind  Michelle Nunn (D) a non-profit executive who headed the Points of Light Organization, founded by former President George H.W. Bush and who is a underdog against David Perdue, a former corporate CEO.

Much was made about how little Miller's endorsement of Nunn will matter from both Republicans and liberal Democrats who are still upset by Miller's appearance at the 2004 RNC and his unabashed conservative views that are out of line with today's Democrats. Had Miller come out and endorsed David Perdue, you better believe republicans would be jumping for joy and be singing the praises of the former marine.

Now endorsements in fact really doesn't matter... however some endorsements can end up having a larger impact than others. The trouble is, like other factors, it’s hard to know ahead of time which ones will have the biggest impact. It just depends on who’s doing the endorsing and how much credibility the person has and how vigorous the endorsement is on the other hand it can be weakened when the endorser is not universally popular in the party or when a voter’s opinion is split, but this endorsement from Miller will have a positive impact for Nunn going forward towards November. How will it help Nunn? Well it help her in courting rural swing voters, disaffected Conservative Democrats, Seniors, groups that still hold the former governor in high regard and even with moderate Republicans. However, it may not have that much of a impact in and around Metro Atlanta, but believe me, in small towns across Georgia and among misinformed voters and voters who don't follow politics, it will carry some weight. The question I have is will the former governor, who's been battling health-related issues make a few campaign appearances on behalf of Michelle Nunn? That remains to be seen.

But the dirty work and the negative ad campaign from outside GOP groups will continue against Nunn, and likely gain ferocity as we near the fall season and the best thing Nunn can do at this point to improve her chances is to work on her statewide grassroots ground game.

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