Tom Corbett’s education cuts continue to be a hot issue in a lot of state legislature races, and my advice to Democrats is to keep pushing this as hard as possible. Blame the Republicans for the cuts to school districts, blame them for local property tax hikes and teacher layoffs, blame blame blame. This message is working.
If you want some evidence that it’s working, take this paragraph from Keegan Gibson’s article on Rob Teplitz’s new ad hitting John McNally on the Corbett education cuts:
As a side note, even if McNally said he did support Corbett’s budgets, most Republicans would contend that there haven’t been cuts to education. Rather, they say, the state has increased its share of education funding. The dropoff is a result of expiring federal stimulus funding.
McNally and numerous other non-incumbent Republican candidates aren’t taking up that message.
Only the Republicans who voted for the education cuts are using the convoluted message about the spending baseline, and that’s because they have to. They voted for the cuts, and now they need to try to obscure what happened because voters aren’t buying the fake talking point about Republicans increasing education spending. The non-incumbent Republican candidates don’t want anything to do with that losing argument. Instead, they’re running against the cuts. They know voters believe Republicans cut education spending, and there’s no point in trying to persuade them otherwise.
Democratic candidates need to keep talking about the billion dollars in education cuts, and they shouldn’t get drawn into debates over down-in-the-weeds stuff like the spending baseline. Let Republican incumbents struggle to explain the budget wonkery. It’s not gonna work.