Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Gross Doesn't Think Vander Plaats Is Winning Candidate

Republican Doug Gross knows what it's like to lose a race for governor. Democrat Tom Vilsack beat him in 2002. Gross doesn't want his party to lose again. By the way, despite rumors circulating that Gross wants to be his party's nominee again next year, he insists he is not going to run for governor.

Bob Vander Plaats, who has failed twice before in his attempts to become governor, is the closest person to a "candidate" for the Republicans. He told me he is running unless his health or his family's health became a concern. O.K., back to Gross...

Gross and some allies paid for a statewide survey of what Iowans want in a candidate. He said the numbers show Iowans want politicians dealing with the money matters, not marriage. Iowans believe leaders have spent too much money, so they know want those leaders to cut spending/cut taxes. He said cultural issues, like same-sex marriage, fall very low on Iowans' priorities' list, according to his survey. So Gross doesn't think Vander Plaats will win the race for governor, because VP made his opposition to same-sex marriages such a central part of his "campaign".

Gross is looking for an alternative candidate. He wants someone with a strong business background, but also, someone who has some political experience, as well. Gross didn't give names, but he said four or five people are very seriously looking at it right now. He expects to have his alternative candidate by September 1st.

Vander Plaats, as you might guess, disagrees with Gross' assessment. He told me he talks about other issues, like economics, but he says people keep talking to him about the same-sex marriage situation. He said it's important Iowans know what candidates believe on this subject, so he doesn't think Iowans want candidates to avoid talking about the topic.


Conservative in Exile said...

The reason a guy like Bob VanderPlaats makes a good candidate is that he doesn’t have to talk about the hot button issues like marriage and abortion. He already has credibility on those issues with the hard right social conservatives. That frees him up to talk about the economic issues and reducing the size of government, highlighting his business and leadership experience. A candidate like him can have credibility with both major groups in the Republican party. He can spend his time reaching out to moderates and independents.

The thing people like Gross never seem to learn is that they’re the ones who are always talking about abortion and marriage. First, to try to keep anyone from running who might actually agree with those parts of the Republican platform, then to try to convince skeptical conservatives that they can be trusted to represent them if elected.

Just look at how hard McCain had to work to convince people he was a conservative. He was never able to make the sale to the activists in the cheap seats. How different might things be now if the Republicans had just nominated a real conservative who had credibility in all areas?

Not only does Gross not have credibility with the conservative activists that make the Republican Party work, any candidate he endorses will begin the race with the Gross kiss of death.

Anonymous said...

The reason a guy like Bob VanderPlaats makes a good candidate is that he doesn’t have to talk about the hot button issues like marriage and abortion.

yet that's ALL he talks about.

Anonymous said...

That’s because in the last month, the marriage issue was the big issue. Right now, the only people really paying attention are the activists on both sides. That is why politicians only deal with hot-button topics in off years. Moderate General Election voters are too busy with their daily lives to even realize there is a campaign going on. They won’t start to dial into the race until probably late August of 2010 when the race heats up. That is why now is a great time for Vander Plaats to talk to the activists in his party and fire them up. Exile is exactly right, because Vander Plaats is showing his metal to the Conservative base early, he won’t have to do it in a General Election when the whole state is watching.