Early Voting = Early Attacks

So it looks like Scott Israel prevailed yesterday. And so did John Rodstrom.

And from that, you might extrapolate that attack ads really don't work, since both of those candidates were the targets of well-financed and pretty brutal attack machines.

Not so fast.

A political observer just mentioned to me something that will likely get overlooked in the post-election coverage: Lemack won Tuesday's vote.

Yes, the apparent loser actually won the day. He was down thousands of votes in the early voting and absentee ballots and then climbed his way back into the fold as yesterday's votes were counted. (He still hasn't officially lost since Wexler and Snipes are taking their sickly sweet time about actually counting the votes. Lucky for them, only about 10 percent of the people care at all about whatever inane thing either of them may do).

And Rodstrom? Well, it was an impressive win for him any way you cut it, but he barely pulled 30 percent of the vote. The attacks clearly helped open the door for his challengers (and one of them, Carlton Moore, almost walked through it).

So here's the point: Attack ads do work, but the old rule of thumb about starting late (about two weeks before election day) doesn't anymore. The attacks need to start about a month earlier and build up to a Tuesday crescendo.

There's your realpolitik lesson of the day.

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