Daily Beast: Can Andrew Gillum Live Up to the Hype?

I spoke with Andrew Desiderio of The Daily Beast about Andrew Gillum’s candidacy for Florida governor and what a victory might mean going forward:

“He’s the avatar of what national Democrats could see as a winning formula in 2020: combining progressive populism with a candidate who could reprise Barack Obama’s diverse coalition,” Liam Donovan, a national Republican strategist, told The Daily Beast. “Some Republicans might welcome this, thinking his platform out of step with what remains a center, center-right country, but they overlook the potency of this combination at their own peril.”

Read the entire piece here.

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BBC: When An Attack Ad is a Vote Decider

I spoke with Georgina Rannard of BBC News about Americans’ love-hate relationship with the political attack ad:

“Campaigns use them because they work. Every bit of data shows that the negative spots work better than positive spots,” says political commentator and former Republican strategist Liam Donovan.

Commentator Liam Donovan says that in this election, Democrat challengers have been able to capitalise on voters turned off by the extremes of 2016 by using more positive messages:

“It’s easier to do as challenger than as an incumbent. The party in power is on attack.”

The other small difference this year in comparison to previous elections it that with so many negative ads running, a candidate cut could through the noise by running a positive one, he claims.

But those hoping for more positivity in American political advertising are likely to wait a long time say experts.

“It’s going to get worse in 2020 – it’s a one-way ratchet. Attack ads will work until we finally vote with our feet,” argues Mr Donovan.

Read the entire piece here.

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Time: Republican Senate Candidates Are Gambling on Trump

I spoke with Molly Ball of Time Magazine about how purple state GOP Senate challengers are betting on President Trump:

For the most part, it looks like a losing bet. Vukmir’s opponent, Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin, is ahead by double digits in nearly every recent poll. It’s a similar story in OhioPennsylvania and Michigan. Florida is still a toss-up, but the Democratic incumbent, Bill Nelson, holds a narrow lead over Governor Rick Scott, an early Trump backer who bounded onstage with the President at a rally Oct. 31. “These are states that never had a Trump majority, where because of the dynamics in 2016 he could win with 48% of the vote, and the President is not as popular in these states as he was two years ago,” said Liam Donovan, a D.C.-based GOP strategist. “And none of these [Republican] candidates are running against Hillary Clinton.”

Another possible reason for the Senate strategy is that it represents the only chance for candidates like Vukmir, conventional wisdom be damned. This theory holds that, in a nationalized election where Democratic voters are energized and independents have soured on the GOP, Republicans’ only hope is to get more of their own dispirited voters riled up. And Trump is the best tool for that. “You can try to make a case for how you’re different, but the Whole Foods moms are too pissed off to listen,” Donovan said.

Read the entire piece here.

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