I’ve been wanting to post about this for awhile, but hey, why tip off all the Democrats that read this blog?
Throughout the past few months there has been a lot of discussion from analysts and Democrats alike wondering why Lee Fisher had not pulled away from Jennifer Brunner.
They figured since he had establishment support and a far superior money advantage that he should have been light years ahead of her weeks ago.
Unfortunately for Lee, those kinds of questions seem to have damaged his fundraising over the past two quarters. His most recent total was barely half of what was considered necessary to raise for a competitive general election.
But were those expectations fair?
Both candidates held statewide elective office. But it was Brunner that won it on her own and it was Brunner whose star shown brighter the past 3 and a half years.
Both candidates made seemingly similar grassroots efforts.
Both candidates focused entirely on earned media up until the final weeks.
Despite their campaigning efforts, over time name ID for both barely changed and the poll numbers barely moved.
And neither dropped enough cash to pay for the paid media necessary to affect a large number of voters.
While Brunner never held a lead in any polls of the primary, she stayed relatively close. And why wouldn’t she? She wasn’t doing anything much different from Lee when it comes to reaching out to the electorate.
Sure they had articles written about them here and there. Or they had posts at the Daily Kos. But that’s not what truly moves numbers.
Improved name ID and the paid media that comes with it moves numbers.
For months we’ve known Brunner wasn’t going to be able to challenge Lee on TV. Fisher was going to dominate the airwaves and communicate his message to the masses. And Brunner was going to remain silent with her 30-something name ID.
In other words, we’ve known Fisher had this wrapped up months ago.
And yet, Democrat contributors wavered. They balked at contributing to Fisher as long as Brunner seemed to be a viable threat.
And Lee is to blame. He should have been able to sell his overwhelming chance to win to his contributors and he failed. Was it laziness? Was it stupidity? Was it simply bad messaging? Or was there nothing they could do?
Now it’s too late. Fisher is left with chump change and Rob Portman maintains a commanding cash-on-hand lead that’s bound to continue to frighten off the usual Dem contributors. Meanwhile, Portman will continue raising ridiculous amounts of cash as his inevitability becomes more assured.