Proft offers an explanation
Monday, Nov 14, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller
* Dan Proft explains to Greg Hinz why his messaging failed…
The first: “Making personal safety the referendum question was the best play we had. It put Pritzker (and Lightfoot) on defense the entire race. It kept him focused on me rather than Bailey and it had the added benefit of broad bipartisan opposition–prosecutors, judges, sheriffs, et al.” So it worked, up to a point.
However, he continued, “At the end of the day, as in New York, there are not enough motivated voters, to the extent they exist at all, to make a change even with broad agreement on an issue that was essentially even with abortion in terms of animating votes (per a lot of polling).” Or as he put it earlier in the email, “Many of those Rs you think are in the suburbs aren’t. And many who are left are either fatalistic–about a lot more than Bailey (see the congressional and leg(islative) races)–or cowered into inaction by the Leftist mob’s vilification.”
Proft “doesn’t do meaningful research on voters and tailor messaging to it. He just figures out what will make Dick Uihlein get his rocks off,” says Tom Bowen, who currently is working for Lightfoot. “Voters have competing priorities. You can’t just say ‘crime, bad. BOO!’ and hope that works if you don’t credibly put forward a plan as an alternative. Also, you can’t divorce that from what’s going on elsewhere.”
The crime issue failed spectacularly in the primary for Richard Irvin and then Proft amped up the volume to 11 in the general. Only Proft and Uihlein believed it could work, apparently, to the tune of $42 million.