Karl Rove recently stirred the pot by suggesting that Republicans focus campaign efforts more on who could win rather than who rang the right chimes. The idea is to look at the big picture and weed out the cruft that really wouldn’t help achieve goals. J.R. Dunn describes the situation as How the Left Dupes Conservative Voters.
The history goes back to the 2000 election and the ‘revelation’ of a candidate’s drunk driving record.
“The program operates counterintuitively, by manipulating the beliefs and convictions of the voters to misdirect or negate their political activities. Rather than persuade voters to act against their own interests or to vote against their convictions, the left, with the aid of the media, manipulates those very convictions — public morality with religious voters, conservative ideology with traditionalists or tea party voters, and various stances on single issues, to persuade voters to waste their votes on obscure or bogus candidates, to throw support to hopeless or seriously flawed “pure” candidates, and in some cases not to vote at all.”
It is a typical military strategy. Confuse the enemy just enough to impair effectiveness just enough to be able to tilt the odds.