Analysis: The message that swept Rick Snyder to victory: 'jobs, jobs, jobs'
The number of jobs Michigan lost from January 2003, when Jennifer Granholm became governor, to January 2010: 602,600.
Lon Horwedel | AnnArbor.com
Recognizing that in the midst of a devastating economic collapse, voters are focused exclusively on the economy, Snyder declared Michigan an "economic disaster" on the day he launched his campaign in July 2009 and repeatedly called himself a "job creator."
Describing the focus of his campaign while awaiting the election results Tuesday, Snyder summarized it this way: "jobs, jobs, jobs."
In past elections, that might not have been enough. Social issues could have become a distraction. Health care reform could have taken the spotlight. Immigration or environmental issues could have become the focus.
Not this year. The most successful Michigan political candidates recognized that, with a 13 percent unemployment rate, voters are still hurting.
Bernero knew that, too. That's why he tried to discredit Snyder's self-proclaimed "job creator" credentials by accusing him of outsourcing jobs as an executive for Gateway Inc. and as an investor in high-tech companies.
But voters didn't buy it. Snyder won with about 58 percent of the vote, and Bernero received 39 percent.
In the marketing world, you've got to deliver your message over and over for consumers to absorb it. Snyder recognized that. He repeatedly portrayed himself as an outsider and branded himself as the only candidate who understood how to spark an economic revival in Michigan.
"If you look at the focus of our campaign, I’ve been talking about jobs since Day One," he said Tuesday afternoon.
In Michigan, that's the only focus he needed.