Building a winning coalition is a key component of any candidate’s early campaign strategy and Republican candidate for attorney general Mark Obenshain has wasted no time in attempting to appeal to many groups within the diverse electorate in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Students, independents, and most importantly women are all major components of the strategically devised winning coalition that the Obenshain campaign is convinced will carry him to victory on November fifth.
Women are the most important part of the Obenshain coalition because they represent the biggest challenge to Republican efforts to win statewide in Virginia in 2013. Women voted for Obama in 2012 by a 9 point margin; Democrats have sensed this weakness among Republicans and have sought to paint both Mark Obenshain and Republican gubernatorial candidate, Ken Cuccinelli as extreme, anti-women ideologues who would attempt to use the office they are seeking as a means to restrict women’s reproductive rights. Obenshain has sensed this potential weakness and attack on his targeted coalition and has sought to distance himself from Attorney General Cuccinelli (who is arguably has a weaker chance to attract women over to his coalition and ultimately win). To do this, Obenshain has been using his daughter, Tucker Obenshain, prominently in his campaign around the Commonwealth.
The Obenshain campaign recently released a campaign TV spot that seeks to portray him in a positive light with women. The ad is simply entitled, “Mark and Tucker” and features his daughter, Tucker Obenshain, talking about the positive accomplishments Senator Obenshain has achieved. One policy in particular, protecting abusive spouses from their partners has clear gender overtones, namely that Obenshain has protected women before and will continue to protect women’s rights in the future. Noticeable in the ad is the time also given to Obenshain’s wife, Suzanne and the very brief appearance of their son.
Republicans have to attract more women to their side if they want to start winning consistently. Mark Obenshain might just be the candidate that figures out how to do it first. His ad, “Mark and Tucker” is a step in the right direction; view the ad, “Mark and Tucker” below.
(posted by publius)