On the Trone Campaign

Once this election is over, Democrats all over the Eighth Congressional District are going to feel jilted as the never ending stream of direct mail from David Trone comes to a sudden halt. So I’m playing this one in advance of primary day.

Seriously though, David Trone is running an excellent campaign. Many wealthy people decide to run for office but are completely oblivious to their lack of political expertise and spend their money badly. David Trone has hired experts, and he has hired good ones.

Trone’s direct mail is not only plentiful, it’s attractive and well-designed. It comes in a variety of formats. If you don’t read the postcard, maybe you open the letter. It’s also targeted; I received at least two pieces based on my ethnicity.

His television ads are similarly well done based on the few I’ve seen. Thanks to the blessings of Tivo, I see fewer political ads than many. (Some friends are impressed that I manage to watch TV not see most of Trone’s ads.) Increasingly, I suspect, viewers of commercials on television skew older. But that’s not bad in a primary because so do the voters.

Younger viewers may have been forced to watch when they viewed shows online, as most do nowadays. I imagine I might’ve seen more videos for Trone if I clicked on the many net ads, though I wonder greatly if they are effective.

Trone also has a large staff of paid canvassers. They’re way better than paid people that I’ve seen in most state legislative campaigns, who usually can’t wait to dump the literature and get home. Nonetheless, Trone’s people remain less passionate and knowledgeable than volunteers. Scratch the surface of his pleasant crew, though I am not sure many do, and they don’t know much about their guy.

The canvassers are also well targeted. Anyone who requested an absentee ballot soon had a Trone canvasser at their door. And Trone has very heavily promoted absentee ballot requests from people who have not voted in primaries previously.

If Trone loses, it won’t be because he spent his money badly.

The real question remains why Trone wants to be a freshman member of Congress. It doesn’t seem to be any particular issue passion. A clear campaign weakness is that his stances on public policy are cookie cutter and undeveloped.

Beyond wanting this to acquire this particular political success and to highlight his considerable business acumen, one wonders why he doesn’t run for an office where he could really shake things up. A Trone campaign for County Executive would sure unsettle the plans of most of the County Council.