No less than the New York Times revealed on Wednesday that Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, presented his colleagues with “extensive findings” from a “major internal research project” that shows they should “portray Republicans as uncaring toward working-class Americans” in the 2014 campaign. So what’s new? In other words, the Democrats’ “research” shows they will do better against Republicans in November if they go negative, speak in platitudes and use meaningless buzzwords. What a shock.

But the Times is impressed, stressing that the research cost six figures. Seriously? The Democrats paid six figures for this statement of the obvious; something only the most accommodating media would label as a “strategy”? The conclusions from this ” research” aren’t even campaign management 101 — they are remedial. Everyone knows if you don’t have a record or an affirmative message to run on, you have to go negative. It is not a good sign for the Democrats when a promotional piece like this Times article can’t effectively state the case for a Democratic victory in November, even when it is citing the Democrats’ own research.

Remarkably, the Times goes on to say that “on health care, Democrats said the research reinforced their view that Republicans have been unable to make it the defining issue of the campaign.” Is this wishful thinking on the Democrats’ part? No one needs any research to know that health care will be a defining issue of the 2014 campaign.

The only thing worse for the Democrats than Obamacare is our economy, and it’s easy to link the two. If the Democrats think they are going to be able to ignore the negative impact that Obamacare is having on Americans, they are only deceiving themselves.

So, to sum it up, the Democrats’ high-priced campaign research tells them to go negative, make shallow and deceitful allegations about Republicans and continue trying to sell the usual Democratic promises and hide behind the same old denials.

But maybe the research is useful for at least one party. The GOP is on notice: The midterms elections are destined to get ugly. Every Republican on the ballot is going to see the kitchen sink up-close.

 

Follow Ed on Twitter: @EdRogersDC

Ed Rogers is a contributor to the PostPartisan blog, a political consultant and a veteran of the White House and several national campaigns. He is the chairman of the lobbying and communications firm BGR Group, which he founded with former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour in 1991.