I’m stunned this doesn’t get more attention in the press.? Lee Fisher’s Senate campaign has spent in the past year over $2 million, and I’m pretty sure that’s BEFORE his first television ad buy.? $2 million on what?!? And what does he have to show for it?
A seven to nine-point lead in the low 30s with over 40% undecided less than two weeks to go.? Joel Hyatt did better.
Where’s Harry Reid, Bob Martinez, or former President Bill Clinton now?? Why aren’t they coming to stump for Fisher here in Ohio telling us Democrats how Lee Fisher is the best chance we’ve got against Rob Portman?? Is Lee Fisher actually on the stump? (More on that later…)
Well, first, they’re too busy reading this in Politico to catch the next flight to Ohio (HT: Right Ohio):
That means that the last two weeks of the primary campaign ? the election is on May 4 ? pit a candidate with a clear fan base and little money (Brunner) against a candidate with superior resources and a less obvious core constituency (Fisher).
The calvary ain’t comin’ for Lee.? Meanwhile Jennifer Brunner and her merry band of? Brunniacs continue to travel the State in their e-bay bus in one part Paul Wellstone, one part Partridge Family throughout Ohio.
Yesterday, Jim Dean (Chair of Democracy For America (DFA) & former DNC Chairman Howard Dean’s brother) toured with Brunner on the bus talking about why America needs a U.S. Senator like Jennifer Brunner.? She’s getting positive local press coverage with each visit.? Go to Jennifer Brunner’s site and you see a schedule that would make your head spin along with multiple volunteer GOTV opportunities.? Go to Lee Fisher’s and all you see is him promoting his latest TV ad and his latest newspaper endorsement.? Fisher’s TV ad curiously omits the date of the election, that he’s a Democratic primary candidate, and fails to ever directly asks the viewer to … VOTE!? ?The websites are an accurate microcosm of the difference between the campaigns.
If Lee Fisher has a ground game, it’s the best kept secret in Ohio Democratic politics.? I haven’t seen anything from Lee Fisher that was volunteer driven.? I don’t even know if he even has volunteers.? Now I’m not suggesting he doesn’t, but it’s an odd way to present your campaign, especially when you’ve been framing yourself as a Washington outsider who seeks to represent the common people.
If you want any better example of how Lee Fisher’s campaign seems to have an allergic reaction to both the common people (that they’re not asking to vote) and wisely spending it’s campaign dollars consider how Lee is trying to reach undecided Democratic voters in Montgomery County.
Tonight, Lee Fisher is holding a town hall meeting in Montgomery County… without actually meeting a single person, looking them in the eye, and asking them for their vote.
According to the Dayton Daily News, Fisher’s plan tonight is:
The Fisher campaign auto-dials about 20,000 likely voters and asks if they?d like to participate. Voters can hang up or hang on and listen to Fisher give his pitch. Voters will be given a chance to ask questions during the hour-long call.
The Fisher campaign said about 2,800 people usually participate and 50 questions are answered.
When 90% of likely voters treat you like a telemarketer because you come to them with all the Lee Fisher warmth and friendliness coupled with the approach of a telemarketer,? YOU ARE WASTING MONEY.? As a blogger, of course I think technology can be a great tool in politics, but I don’t believe in using the latest gadget for the sake of showing people you have a gadget.? Even in this instance, it seems like the Fisher’s campaign is to use technology to show how inevitable he’s nomination is because of the vastness of his resources.? Which is I guess what you do when you want to distract people from the fact that the West Clermont County Democrats overwhelmingly voted for Brunner in their recent straw poll when your own local Democratic club refused to endorse you.
Lee, you’d be better off getting 200 people to actually show up at a physical event and holding an actual town hall.? Because those folks are more likely to leave the meeting impressed that you took the effort to look them in the face and ask them to vote.? They’re also more likely to tell someone.? I can’t recall the last time I’ve heard someone talk about getting a telemarketing call or robocall in a positive light.? And yet, you’ve been spending money on these things like they’re the coolest thing in the world.? God save us when you discover Farmville or Twitter.? I wouldn’t be surprised if your campaign office was stuffed with iPads even though nobody knows why.
I can’t imagine a more impersonal way to reach out to voters within days before an election. (Well, except to spend hundreds of thousands in an ad that never asks people to vote.)
And here’s Lee Fisher’s problem.? Here’s why if you’re employed by Lee Fisher’s Senate campaign you’d better have your next job lined up.? Even if Lee Fisher manages to limp across the finish line, his campaign will have a substantially harder time catching up with Rob Portman’s campaign warchest than Jennifer Brunner will.
Because Jennifer Brunner has, if anything, demonstrated an amazing ability to run a competitive primary with no money.? Conversely, Lee has demonstrated an amazing ability to make a primary competitive despite having all the money and endorsements.? After watching Lee Fisher blow $2 million with little to show for it, don’t tell me some donors aren’t going to want to see some major changes in Fisher’s campaign spending habits.
Yes, Fisher reported last week he had $1.8 million on hand.? But what nobody has reported is how much of that money can Fisher actually spending in the primary election.? Get that figure, and you’ll have a much more accurate assessment of his fundraising advantage.? Money that can only be spent in the general election is useless to Fisher right now.? That’s the real reason why so many in D.C. see Fisher’s dwindling fundraising ability creating an opening for Brunner.? It’s the simplest of D.C. laws of political physics: she’s going up; he’s going down.
Lee Fisher is just one bad news cycle away at seeing the entire race pull away from him right as the polls are about to close.? Tomorrow, the candidates have to file their pre-primary FEC reports.? Given the timing of the DFA endorsement of Brunner and Fisher’s lackluster 1st Quarter report, it’s entirely possible that Brunner could actually outraise Fisher for the first time this election.? Sure it’s only for a two week period.? But you honestly want to tell me that’s not going to be major news in the race.? If a single poll comes out in the next week showing Brunner with any momentum, Fisher is toast.? If Fisher goes Betty Montgomery on Brunner, he’s toast.
If you support Jennifer Brunner, or are just now realizing the problems Fisher will have as the nominee, you need to donate to Jennifer Brunner’s campaign ASAP if you want to give them any chance to be on the air in the final days of this election.
If Brunner is the nominee, she’ll be better able to convince folks that a donation to her campaign will be wisely spent, and not wasted on telemarketing calls, paid petition circulators, and television ads that fail to mention the election.? It’s really that simple.