Decision 2014: The Faulconer strategy
DOWNTOWN – One thing the Kevin Faulconer campaign learned in the November primary for the special election for San Diego mayor was that he was more appealing to voters across the spectrum than they expected.
Chief strategist Jason Cabel Roe of Revolvis Consulting: “When you look in some of the minority communities he performed better than any Republican has in a long time.”
Better than expected with minority voters south of Interstate 8, especially Asians. That suggests to Roe that this race will not be about identity politics.
“Latinos voting for Latino candidates, whites voting for whites, I think people are gonna be all over the map and they're gonna be making determinations on whose best to lead the city, not who mostly reflects their own personal backgrounds.”
The Faulconer campaign will be aggressive in going after non-traditional voters, including Asians, African-Americans and Latinos.
Faulconer got 102,000 votes in the primary. Democratic rival David Alvarez got 65,000, however he had to compete for votes with fellow Democrat Nathan Fletcher, who got 50,000 votes. Where will those voters go?
“For people that are kind of looking for a non-partisan leader at city hall, Kevin is gonna be that candidate,” says Roe, “so I think we get a majority of those Fletcher voters that don't want to see partisanship at city hall.”
The Faulconer campaign will push their candidate as a Republican non-partisan with more experience being in the forefront of fiscal and pension reforms, and as a key figure in helping negotiate Bob Filner's departure. They see David Alvarez as labor's candidate, and that will be a major issue.
“I don't know how it can't be,” says Roe. “Alvarez is not a prolific fund-raiser. I would be shocked if he raised more than 400,000 in his campaign in the runoff. The only place he can get that kind of money is from the labor unions.”
Roe says this campaign, at least as far as the candidates are concerned, will be more civilized because the candidates like and respect each other, and have shown they can work together.
But he says national labor unions will pour millions into independent expenditures supporting Alvarez.
“When labor gets all in, they tend to have the scorched earth strategy when it comes to defining their opponents, so I expect labor to be very, very negative in attacking Kevin cause he's been a supporter of the reforms.”
There's every expectation this is going to be a very close race within a few thousand votes. In the coming days we'll focus on the strategy of the Alvarez campaign.