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Hello, Ernie!

Today's SES Research tracking results (link PDF) are the first ones that show the Conservatives leading or tied in all four regions (Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, West). They even have a 4 point lead in Quebec. This all might help fuel speculation that the CPC can win a majority, although the same poll shows hints that Harper's leadership appeal has taken a sudden turn southward.

I was reading one of my old blog posts and came across this piece of advice that I wrote for the Martin campaign team back in April:

I'm not going to make any predictions about what kind of campaign we will have, but I do feel confident in saying that going negative could only hurt Paul Martin's chances. In fact, I think that Martin getting "ugly" is Harper's best chance for a majority.

The difference between Ernie Eves in 2003 and Paul Martin in 2004 is that in '03 we knew that Eves and his party were out of gas, lacking vision, and had their backs up against the wall. Going negative just made Ernie and his team look like cornered rats, and that's not very attractive. In 2004, however, there was no such consensus about Paul Martin or the Liberals. That's different now.

Martin's best chance is to try to convince the public that he is the exact opposite of being out of gas, and lacking vision. He needs a very positive, inspired, and ambitious campaign. Somehow he has to make it credible, too. That's going to be the hard part. The very hard part.

Well, they haven't managed to pull it off.

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