Congratulations to State Senator Brad Zaun for his solid victory last night. I will have to say that I will never doubt his campaign’s internal polling ever again.
The keys to his victory, as I see it… Nobody out campaigns him, he works it. I remember shortly after he got into the race I received a phone call from him at home. He was the only candidate to call my house.
He’s also just plain likable, and I’ve had numerous chances to interact with him even though I didn’t get to interview him. He seems like a “regular guy,” he was a small business owner (a small hardware store in Urbandale) and that resonated. He also has huge name recognition. Some Jim Gibbons said last night at his event that Zaun was “obviously very strong in Polk County.” Zaun has been in politics for 20 years. He was the mayor of Urbandale, and was well liked in that role. He has also been a state senator. He had the advantage in name recognition.
While I didn’t endorse I easily could have, and I’m not unhappy with the vote. Gibbons in his concession speech said, "I voted for Zaun when I lived in Urbandale and look forward to voting for him again.” As will I look forward to voting for Brad Zaun in November.
Jim Gibbons race a fabulous race the first time out. I really thought he could pull this out, and thought the race was be closer than this.
Color me wrong (sorry Zaun Campaign pollsters). Gibbons ran a positive campaign. He focused on healthcare, jobs and the economy (as did Zaun, Funk and Rees). What likely cost him this race?
While his residency background wasn’t an issue for me, it obviously was for others. Also the NRCC endorsement and some funding sources gave him the aura of being “the establishment pick.” Though how you can label somebody as part of the establishment when it’s their first time running for office and hasn’t even served in party leadership (that I’m aware of)? I thought his name recognition was better than it was, but then I’m a huge wrestling fan and followed his career at Iowa State. I talked with numerous friends about Gibbons, and they said “who?” Obviously don’t follow wrestling which in Iowa, that is akin to heresy. Anyway, regardless of the turnout I was proud to cast my vote for him.
Dave Funk outside of the tea party movement really isn’t that well known and that is probably the biggest reason why he didn’t do better. He was also the only candidate to attack his other primary candidates. That really turns people, like me off. He had a solid debate performance in his last debate, but seemed angry in others. That said I think ultimately it was the lack of name recognition and funding that did him in.
He was solid on the issues, but so were Zaun and Gibbons, so that really wasn’t enough. He campaigned hard, and in my opinion had the best social media/Web 2.0 effort going. Zaun should see what he did because I believe he needs to improve in that area.
Those were my top three, I just had the 1 & 2 positions wrong. Mark Rees, is a moderate “squish” and really seemed no different than Leonard Boswell. That said I thought he’d do better than 4%, but am glad that he didn’t. Scott Batcher and Jason Lee Welch, I don’t really know them. They were hardly visible, and were non factors throughout. Not surprised by their finishes.
Since I said I wouldn’t have been surprised if this went to convention, I’m glad that it doesn’t have to. I really didn’t want to see the nomination decided that way.