Strategy

Dems Prey on Off-Beat Comments

This midterm election season, there are the issues. And then there are the things Democrats want to talk about—mostly, the off-beat comments that their Republican opponents are making. Their strategy seems to be to distract voters from their frustration with Democrats currently in Washington by focusing their efforts on painting Tea Party candidates as wingnuts. And, because of that strategy, witchcraft, evolution, and a 97-year-old amendment to the Constitution have all become topics for scrutiny in races across the country. The cause seems to be Tea Party candidates’ relative lack of experience in keeping fodder away from their opponents. "If there's a common thread, it's that they're all neophyte candidates, and novices tend to make mistakes," said one analyst. "They have trouble sticking to the stump speech, or they get a question and they over-answer it."