I worked for Bill Halldin, we had a simple strategy…
We knew that since Bill had gobbled up a ton of endorsements in Placer County that our opponents would go elsewhere and fight it out. We also know that “Mik” would be strong in El Dorado as he was a supervisor there. We bet the ranch on Placer.
How strong Mik ended up being in Eldo and Sac County surprised everyone. “Mik” was indeed a damn good leader.
I believe that Bill’s problems were three-fold, none we had any control over.
- Andy Pugno getting in to the race overshadowed us in the same target voter universe. His entry took at least 4 points in the aggregate away, maybe as many as 6.
- Bill Halldin looks like a Republican Politician. This was still the Donald Trump election and we were unable to stand out the way Pugno and Kiley did. Bill Halldin did the best he could and I do believe that we got our message out. It was not received by the ADHD voter universe.
- Placer County did not vote. That was a killer.
As of 6/12/2016:
Placer’s Turnout was a low 33.8%
Sacramento County was an astonishing 64.5%
El Dorado’s Turnout was an average 46.5%
Halldin needed Placer to come through huge. It did not.
Kevin Kiley is a young talented man. I wrote that before and I am writing it again. He was and is a superior communicator to any of the other candidates that ran. I’d also argue that he is more charismatic than any of the other candidates that ran. When you had 11 candidates on the ballot all trying to be unique, Kiley was. Pugno sorta was.
The above was the key to Kiley’s campaign. Period. Not Pete Wilson, Not the Bay Area Donors. It was Kevin. Let that sink in. (This is also why his Cable TV ads were effective – it was Kevin, not the content of the ads)
I hammered Kevin Kiley furiously for a month – he only barked once. This was incredible discipline, which suggests he could have a shorter learning curve as an Assemblymember than you’d expect.
Kevin will be very young for a legislator, he is 31. He is also smarter than most people I have ever met. It is clear when he talks to people one on one that he has talent to burn.
On the ground, Kiley targeted both Sun Cities heavily and worked them heavily. If you look at the precinct-by-precinct vote totals you will see that Sun City Lincoln will be his margin of victory in the AD06 race. Kiley deserves credit for that effort.
It did not matter that we (team Halldin) killed him on the ground in the rest of the county of Placer. They did not vote. I’d bet that the turnout would have been 20% without the Sun Cities! (In fact Rocklin, won by Halldin was indeed about 21% turnout as of 6/12/2016)
It is clear that the hit pieces launched in the mail hurt Kiley as his vote total slid as the night went on. However, he had built himself quite a lead through his efforts.
For as much as I woofed on Dave Gilliard, if I was in his shoes, I’d have done about the same thing strategy-wise in Kiley’s campaign. The fallout from that strategy, however will either define or refine Kevin Kiley’s early tenure as an Assembly-Member. That was the jam Kiley was put in to because of the shallowness of his endorsement support.
When 11 people are on the ballot, it creates a completely volatile situation. With Trump sealing the nomination, it upset the electorate. This was an election where many of the usual conventions of campaigning were tossed aside.
The rest of the votes will be counted by Friday, I’ve been told. I am expecting that Kiley will hold on by 1000-1200 votes (which will still be a large margin in an 11 person race) and that Halldin may pass Cristi Nelson for 5th.