Is Outreach Really a Waste of Time?

While campaigning for Governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell’s campaign as well as his surrogates spent a great deal of time reaching out to all voters.  His Woman for McDonnell coalition spread out all over the state to make sure they were accessible to women voters.  While many on the right (Ahem Phil) call this pandering, it is smart politics.  It is pandering if you are promising people things specifically based on gender, race, or any other group, but actually talking to these groups is simply spreading your message and helping them understand how your policies will help their lives.  Governor McDonnell also has continued to do that throughout his term in office.

It has paid off:

Quinnipiac’s poll, conducted Nov. 8-12, found that among women respondents, 48 percent approved of McDonnell to 26 percent who disapproved. Fifty-nine percent of men had a positive view of McDonnell to 27 percent who did not. Overall, the governor’s approval rating stood at 53 percent.

McDonnell fared well among young voters 18 years old to 34, too. Forty-eight percent approved, and 24 percent disapproved.

Among black voters, who broke overwhelmingly for Obama last week, 41 percent approved of McDonnell, and 34 percent did not.

McDonnell’s results are uncommon among Republicans, said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling institute.

“He is the only Republican officeholder in seven states surveyed by Quinnipiac University who get positive ratings from women — almost 2-to-1 in this case — and a plus score from black voters. A 2-to-1 approval rating among young voters doesn’t hurt,” Brown said.

This is a state that two days before this polling voted to re-elect President Obama.  Women went to Obama over Romney.  So it isn’t that women are pre-disposed to vote only for a democrat.  They will vote for the person who they believe best suits their needs and the needs of their families.

Now has Governor McDonnell been everything I hoped for?  No, but they never are.  Virginia has survived the economic downfall in this country fairly well.  We have a rainy day fund (I don’t love these, but I do understand why they are necessary) that has just been increased, our unemployment is low, our taxes have not really increased since his administration took over, and he has kept the majority of his promises.  All and all I think he has done a decent job.

My point being that he did the work and it has paid off.  This is a lesson that many others in the republican party should take notice of.