21 September 2006

One Month

The primary election was a month ago (give or take a day) and it's curious how the gubernatorial race has shaped up since then.

The way I see it, I've been overwhelmed by policy proposals from Andrew Halcro and Knowles/Berkowitz. My inbox keeps getting ideas-based pitches from the two campaigns. No issue in particular (not even the natural gas pipeline) appears to have emerged as the issue on which this election will be decided but there are plenty of ideas out there on which voters can make their choices. Some of these ideas are no good or not new but at least they're ideas.

But I have yet to see anything similar from Sarah Palin. Instead, I've seen her back away from what I assume was her support for the All-Alaska route during the primary, get involved in some intra-party squabbling, criticize other candidates' ideas (but even then mostly on the margins - I don't feel there's been much that's been substantive), and not provide any of her own.

Palin went into the general election as the favorite, I think, given all the votes she got in the primary and the low turnout in the Democratic race. Some polls even appeared to confirm that. I think there was a general expectation that Knowles would have to go negative to gain traction. But he's stuck to a pretty upbeat message (or at least not an explicitly negative message - relentlessly using the word "experience" about his campaign in contrast to Palin is just good strategy, not a negative tactic) and I have a good sense of what he would make his priorities in office. Meanwhile, a month a half before election day, I'm still not sure what a Palin administration would do or look like.

But are elections decided on personalities or are they decided on charisma and personality? Where's this race going?

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