Political Scientist Scott Lasley says Williams has to go negative, Beshear smart to start running ads early

05/20/2011 03:01 PM

Governor Steve Beshear will go up on the air Monday with a cable advertising buy for the general election, a move Western Kentucky University political science professor Scott Lasley agrees with.

“It’s one of those things, that, does it win the race? No. It’s one of those things that helps. I think it’s probably an effective strategy,” said Lasley, who also is Republican Party chairman for Warren County. (see the :40 mark of the clip)

Lasley compared Beshear’s tactic to the 1996 presidential race that pitted incumbent President Bill Clinton versus Republican primary winner Bob Dole. Dole was out of money by the end of the primary and Clinton went up on the air, much the same as it is with Williams having little money left over after the Republican primary, and Beshear having nearly $4 million.

Lasley believes Beshear’s first ad will be positive, but that Williams can’t run a positive campaign if he wants to win.

“David Williams probably cannot win, running a strictly positive campaign,” Lasley said. “You’re asking the people of the state to fire their chief executive, and so you have to build a case for that.” (see the 3:00 mark of the clip)

Williams won by 10 percentage points despite getting beaten soundly in the “Golden Triangle,” which is the area between Louisville, Lexington and Northern Kentucky. It’s Kentucky’s largest population and economic driver for the state. Lasley said the media in that area made it more difficult for Williams.

“Perhaps media, that if you looked at some of David Williams biggest opponents media wise, the Courier Journal and he are not particularly friendly over the years,” Lasley said. (see the 4:20 mark of the clip)

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