Dems' Desperate Situation: MA Senate Race

For the Democrats, the Senate race in Massachusetts has become the textbook example of Sun Tzu's "desperate situation." This is a situation in which a competitor must expend every resources on one last, all-or-nothing response. The Coakley, the Democrat initially expected to win easily in the formerly dark blue state is hanging on by a thread, which the Democratic Party spends sorely needed monetary reserves and the president rushes to her aid.

The question is: how did this happen? Using Sun Tzu's elemental analysis (1.3 Elemental Analysis), we would say that even though the Ground (1.3.2 Element Scalability) was heavily tilted in Coakley's favor, the Climate is against her (1.3.1 Competitive Comparison). The climate shift created a Difficult situation (6.4.7 Difficult Situations) made desperate by Coakley's character weaknesses.

The good news for Democrats is that, though Climate Shifts are powerful, they are by their very nature temporary. Unfortunately, the more visible the shift is, the longer they last, which is why I predicted earlier that a Brown win could be a classical tipping point.

(If you are interested in learning more about the desperate situation class, our S-RULE article (6.4.9 Desperate Situations) is scheduled for February 8th in our TAOSR program.

Warrior's Rules: 

Competitive Arenas: