Issue baggage, political skill set, ostentatious self-funding indicating others are not matching the enthusiasm he has for himself — relate to electability.
By inferences from two recent news articles, and our own analysis, Mark Jacobs may be the most vulnerable candidate in Iowa’s U.S. Senate campaign — as a primary contender – or should he prevail there, as the Republican nominee in the general.
The Quad-City Times’ Ed Tibbetts reports that an advocacy group – Trees Of Liberty – has targeted Jacobs with a $250,000 ad run pointing out his support for cap and trade legislation. The group’s Website – The Real Mark Jacobs – also points out that Jacobs has supported Common Core type nationalized education standards and helped enable passage of Obamacare through his personal support of Democrat Senate candidate Arlen Specter.
Regarding Jacobs cap and trade support when he was an executive with a Houston energy firm, the Jacobs’ response team led by Davenport’s Victory Enterprises continues the mealy mouthed excuse that he was doing the bidding of the company he worked for. That is supposed to convince Iowa Republicans that he is a principled conservative who has Iowa and the rest of the country’s best interests at heart . . . now. Killing jobs nationwide back then was just about business.
Jacob’s support for nationalized education standards along the lines of Common Core will not endear him to Republicans who voted for platforms across the state this week . They repudiated such machinations federalizing education. That Jacobs so instinctively associated himself with such power grabs should likewise not endear him with Iowa’s homeschooling parents – a very active primary voting group
Many proponents of Jacob’s candidacy have, with all the discretion they can muster, which is none, said that elections are all about money. Their candidate has a bunch of personal wealth, ergo he is the one. Never mind other components of electability, as if they can assuredly be bought. Given Jacob’s debate performances where used car manager Schaben out shown him, and the prospects of Jacobs going up against trial lawyer Braley, well Jacob’s another clunker for Braley to dispose of.
There is statistical evidence as well that the aggressive use of personal wealth may be a drawback to electability. Jacobs has already surpassed any other Iowan’s self funding level in the state’s political history and there is over a month to go in the primary. The Des Moines Register’s Jennifer Jacobs, (no relation we presume) provided a passably balanced article regarding the matter. To her credit she exposed Bruce Braley’s special interest support from trail lawyers. But consider the following stark excerpt from the article, emphasis ours:
The vast majority of self-funded candidates for federal office, both Democrats and Republicans, ultimately lose.
“Two overarching themes are their frequent lack of a political track record and inability to overcome doubts in some voters’ minds that they’re trying to ‘buy’ elections,” said Dave Levinthal of the Center for Public Integrity.
Many self-funders also miss out on the multiplier effect, which isn’t measured in dollars and cents, from people who make small- and medium-sized donations, and then become a candidate’s advocate in conversations with friends, family and colleagues, Levinthal said.
Here are the top-spending millionaire candidates from last election cycle, according to the Campaign Finance Institute:
• Republican Linda McMahon lost the general election for an open seat in Connecticut. McMahon self-financed $49 million of her $51 million campaign.
• Republican Tom Smith of Pennsylvania lost the general election to incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey. Smith funded $33 million of his $38 million campaign.
• Republican David Dewhurst of Texas lost the primary race to Ted Cruz. Dewhurst self-financed $25 million of his $34 million campaign.
• Independent Bill Bloomfield lost a U.S. House general election in California. Bloomfield funded $9.4 million of his $9.8 million campaign.
• Republican Wil Cardon lost a U.S. Senate primary battle in Arizona. Cardon self-financed $9 million of his $9.9 million campaign.
The Iowa Republican made a similar point over two months ago which we added to. We also referenced that the donations to Jacobs’ campaign, at least at that time, were high dollar and few in number . . . and largely from out of state.
Image wise it just astounds us that having gone through what Democrats successfully did to Mitt Romney, that supposed political elites think that the winning image is another Mitt Romney – only less articulate.
Jacobs is definitively, not merely a one-percenter, but a point one percenter. He is a Goldman Sachs alum. He has supported legislation anathema to Republicans, independents and many Democrats and for the most unprincipled of reasons. He is a lobbyists best friend – a guy who gets that monied people buy seats at the table.
Braley has made himself very vulnerable. His trial lawyer money won’t help him either. It will be an albatross, easily referenced to remind people what he said about Chuck Grassley.
Perhaps all is not lost for Jacobs. We are sure Victory Enterprises will be in touch with Jacobs in the morning, telling this poorer candidate by their graces, to spend less time writing checks to them and more time developing his depth on issues and debate skills. R Mall