Using an old measuring stick to size up 21st century politics

Over the past decades political participants have come to employ new strategies, new resources, and new ways of plotting out and assessing an election campaign. The internet has turned politics on its head. Mountains of data with endless crosstabs feed politicians with a great deal of information; maybe too much. Not all of these developments have been for the good.

My mentor in politics, the late Joe Crangle, knew a thing or two because, as the commercial goes, he had seen a thing or two.  He served as Erie County Democratic Chairman for 23 years, ending in 1988.  He was the state Democratic chairman in the mid-seventies.  He came close to becoming national chairman in the early 1980’s.  He would be fascinated by the new information and tools at the disposal of political practitioners today, although I think he would have used the new analytic resources alongside what his experience had taught him. 

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