Two of the likely republican candidates for governor in 2006 are taking different approaches to reaching potential voters at this early point in the campaign. Doug Gross, a Des Moines lawyer who ran for governor in 2002, has been traveling the state, giving speeches and buying airtime for radio ads that were first broadcast last summer. Yesterday (Monday), Congressman Jim Nussle launched his own “narrowcast” in the form of a commercial posted on the Internet. Nussle sent an email to 25-thousand backers, giving them a link to the four-and-a-half minute video that previews the themes of his gubernatorial campaign.”I think Iowa’s got a wonderful future ahead of it. We have to have people with a positive outlook, with a vision,” Nussle says in the ad. Nussle’s aides say about 60 percent of the commercial came from footage used in Nussle’s just-concluded campaign for re-election to Congress. The other 40 percent is new stuff. The ad also outlines some of the arguments Nussle will use to contend he’s more electable.The Nussle video, for example, points out that Nussle ran nine points ahead of President Bush in eastern Iowa’s first congressional district and Nussle won nine counties that were won by democrat John Kerry. The video goes on to sketch out Nussle’s life story, complete with pictures of Nussle in his volunteer fire fighter uniform. University of Iowa political science professor Peverill Square says what Nussle is trying to do is get his supporters fully behind a gubernatorial campaign. “And this was one way of testing out his message and seeing how it resonates with people who are pretty sympathetic to him already,” Squire says. Squire says Nussle — by stressing his Iowa ties in the video — gives his supporters “ammunition” to make the case that Nussle is the best G-O-P candidate for governor. Squire says the themes in the video should be “reasonably effective.” It was more or less “warm and fuzzy” according to Squire. “It’s a good theme to use at the beginning of the campaign as he’s beginning to try to introduce himself,” Squire says.
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