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Rove Reveals New Rules of Politics

Friday, 01 Feb 2008 08:13 PM

Following the early primary season, several new rules have emerged for winning the presidential nomination, says Karl Rove, President Bush’s former senior adviser.

In his Thursday column in the Wall Street Journal, Rove outlined those new rules:

  • The big bounce is gone. Winning a primary or caucus doesn’t give a candidate the boost it has in years past. John McCain won New Hampshire this year, but lost Michigan seven days later. Mitt Romney won Michigan, but the victory had little or no impact in South Carolina.

  • TV ads don’t matter as much as they used to. Romney spent $2.4 million on TV ads in Iowa, but didn’t come out on top in the caucuses.

    This is “the age of the Internet, cable TV, YouTube, multiple news cycles in one day, and the need for really instantaneous response,” Rove writes. “Ads and ad makers are still vital, but not nearly as much as they were just a few years ago.”

  • Technology allows a candidate to raise money quickly and inexpensively. In the past it could take 10 days for money to reach a campaign following a successful debate or primary win. Today, with the Internet, it can arrive the morning after.

  • Debates are a great way to come on late and make up for a lack of resources. Mike Huckabee’s campaign was going nowhere until the debates began and he had an opportunity to impress voters, Rove observes, “at least the church-going ones of central and western Iowa.”

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