Labour has enlisted one of the engineers of this week's Democratic victory in the US midterm elections in an attempt to boost its flagging fortunes before the local elections in May.
Howard Dean, the former presidential candidate and one of the men credited with masterminding the trouncing of the Republicans, will visit the UK next month to brief party officials about his pioneering campaigning techniques.
Renewing Labour's campaigning techniques has become crucial, not just because of the Conservative lead in opinion polls, but also because the Tories are using their war chest in increasingly sophisticated ways, with highly targeted mail shots and telephone calls. The Tories and Lib Dems have also sent envoys to the US to learn new techniques from campaigners over there. The internet was widely used in the US midterm elections, in many cases for negative campaigning. Activists "Google-bombed" rival candidates, flooding the net with unflattering articles and references so that voters searching for their names would discover negative material. The video site YouTube contributed to critical Democratic victories in Montana and Virginia, as activists videoed Republican speeches and posted the gaffes they captured.
Saturday, November 11, 2006
"Labour drafts in US election architect for 'our midterms'"