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Posted on May 8, 2008 in Across the US, Campaign '08, Democrats, RNC, Technology

Do people think the Presidency is the only seat up for grabs?

Despite the fact that the 2008 presidential primaries have been anything but uneventful, in terms of other campaigns across the country, it seems as if everyone else is off to an incredibly slow start.

Even though it’s already May, there are still many hot-races that haven’t even come close to moving into full swing.

While I find this extremely troubling for both parties, I find it to be most problematic for Republicans, simply because they are already heading into this election as the underdogs.

Awhile back, Time Magazine published what they thought were the top 10 Senate races in the 2008 election: Virginia, Colorado and New Hampshire. I completely agree with this assessment and if the GOP wants to at least have some voting muscle in the Senate, they need to win these races.

This isn’t new information, but for some reason it seems that these top three campaigns haven’t even moved into full gear yet, even though there is only a little more than 6 months until the November election.

To give you an idea of what I’m talking about, here is just a glimpse into some of the things (primarily problems) I’ve noticed amongst the ‘top 3’ campaigns, focusing primarily on the Republican side.

Virginia – Jim Gilmore:

Jim GilmoreProblem: It wasn’t until about two weeks ago that I actually started receiving frequent updates from the campaign letting me know what was happening. However, even though I signed up to be a volunteer on multiple occasions, I have yet to receive any communications from the campaign providing me with opportunities to get involved.

Bigger Problem: Someone from Mark Warner’s campaign got back to me quite quickly with a variety of things that I can do to get involved with the campaign.

Side note: this is almost the exact same problem I’ve had with the McCain campaign; however the McCain campaign at least sends updates for volunteer opportunities.

This was a race that was once considered ‘too close to call,’ however many are now saying it’s leaning favorably towards a Democratic win. I think this can be changed, but not at the pace they’re currently moving.

Colorado – Bob Schaffer

Bob ShafferProblem: Despite the fact of knowing that this is going to be an extremely tough race for a Republican to win, it appears that this campaign has done very little (almost nothing) in terms of marketing themselves on the internet.

Even though their race will be expensive, they don’t seem to understand that one of the first places people go to get information on their candidate is the candidate’s website.

This is usually a good thing, unless you’re Bob Schaffer.

Please click here to see Bob Schaffer’s website.

Now, click here to see his opponent, Mark Udall’s website.

To Bob Schaffer, or anyone else on his campaign: set up a meeting with David All, Joe Mansour and Patrick Ruffini… fast. Marketing and web-overhaul, priority #1.

Just to give you an idea of how the two candidate’s sites perform against each other, check out this chart.

Side note, here is a great blog in Colorado evaluating many of the details of this race. 

New Hampshire: John Sununu

John SununuProblem: Exactly the same problem that Bob Schaffer is having. Even though his site isn’t as bad, in comparison to his opponents, it’s lagging severely.

Please click here to view John Sununu’s site.

Now, click here to view his opponent, Jeanne Shaheen’s site.

If you looked at both of those sites, I’m sure that this graph doesn’t really surprise you.

While this is obviously pessimistic, I think that if they made some simple adjustments and paid attention to what was working for the left (particularly Barack Obama) and implemented that into their strategy, both the candidates and the party as a whole would be in a much better position heading into November.