The Democratic House Majority PAC have released an effective ad against Steve Southerland in Florida’s 2nd Congressional District. In the ad, which is shown above, House Majority PAC attacks Southerland on education, medicare and his support for tax cuts for millionaires.
This is exactly the type of ad that needs to be run in this part of the state in order for the Democrats to have a chance. In my article “So, Democrats, want to win North Florida?”, I talked about how the party needs to not focus on the social issues and concentrate solely on the bread and butter issues. I stated that traditional “Dixiecrats” are highly concerned about assistance from the federal government and public education as well as a dislike for the rich. This commercial successfully points out all three.
Not only is this commercial successful because it points out these issues that Democrats can win on in North Florida, but it also points out the stark contrast between Steve Southerland and Al Lawson. This commercial shows that there is purely a clear choice between the two candidates, which will hopefully bring more Democrats to the polls to support Lawson in Leon County.
One must wonder, however, what would have happened if Leonard Bembry would have been the nominee. While these issues might come up, my assumption is that social issues would become more prominent. I assume Bembry would talk about how he is pro-life, pro-gun and all that jazz. If the tone of the election would have gone that way, and social issues were the order of the day, Southerland would have defeated Bembry easily as Bembry would have failed to show any real contrast between himself and Southerland.
Now, with this ad by House Majority PAC, the debate has been shifted from social issues, which usually only fires up the Republican base in rural southern districts, to economic issues, which fires up the Democratic base. Because Lawson cannot fight with Southerland on social issues, it was vitally important that economic issues were front and center.
Hopefully with this ad, the Democrats have been able to move the debate successfully to economic issues. If this plan succeeds, this could easily be a model for other southern districts. If a black candidate who is socially moderate and pro-choice can win a conservative, rural Florida district where the voting age population is 68% white, then a white candidate that is cut of the same cloth can easily win in Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina or even Alabama.
The experiment now begins. We will see on Election Day how successful it is. And to House Majority PAC on the ad…Bravo!