Dole’s dropout spurs GOP candidates to examine PR

WASHINGTON, DC: In the wake of Elizabeth Dole’s withdrawal from the race for the 2000 GOP presidential nomination, remaining candidates Sen. John McCain and Steve Forbes are tweaking their PR efforts in an effort to be heard above the din.

WASHINGTON, DC: In the wake of Elizabeth Dole’s withdrawal from the race for the 2000 GOP presidential nomination, remaining candidates Sen. John McCain and Steve Forbes are tweaking their PR efforts in an effort to be heard above the din.

WASHINGTON, DC: In the wake of Elizabeth Dole’s withdrawal from the

race for the 2000 GOP presidential nomination, remaining candidates Sen.

John McCain and Steve Forbes are tweaking their PR efforts in an effort

to be heard above the din.



A recent Reuters poll showed McCain with the support of 21% of

self-described GOP primary voters in New Hampshire, compared to

frontrunner George W. Bush’s 40% and Forbes’ 12%. The poll marked

somewhat of a victory for McCain, given that his support did not even

register in the double-digits in an April survey.



Democratic consultant Martin Hamburger of Laguens Hamburger Stone

believes McCain’s advocacy of campaign finance reform has given him a

’unique selling proposition.’ His candidacy also received a big boost in

New York from an endorsement by Staten Island borough president Guy

Molinari. Molinari, a strong supporter of George Bush in 1988, had been

thought to be an ardent G.W. Bush backer.



Forbes, on the other hand, has just delivered his ’New Economy Plan,’

which details proposed Social Security, budget and tax reforms. It is

expected that he will soon start to make aggressive comparisons with

Bush in his campaign public relations and advertising.



Significantly, the Reuters poll revealed that a majority of New

Hampshire Republicans believe they don’t have enough knowledge about

Bush to nominate him. This has led some Washington insiders to speculate

whether Dole might have been more competitive with better PR

planning.



Democratic consultant Joe Trippi of Trippi, McMahon & Squier suggested

that McCain has demonstrated better traction than Dole due to his

outsider message. McCain’s surge, he said, ’has more to do with his

coming in as an outsider - a message that Dole could not deliver very

credibly.’



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