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Thursday, June 26, 2008

More Musings on CD 10

Has Max Linn’s spot of weirdness permanently removed him from contention? I have questioned the experience of his staff and his press release announcing the suspension of his campaign to focus full time on campaigning for Obama, immediately followed by another press release calling the first press release a mistake… well, let’s just say I’m still not convinced by his organization.

That said, Linn has the ability to invest $500,000 or more of his own money into his campaign. While it may be easy to dismiss him for some, until I see that he definitely will not put in significant personal monies, he has to be considered a factor. Money trumps a lot of other considerations.

Dunedin Mayor Bob Hackworth held a fundraiser in downtown St. Petersburg that was attended by some relatively big Democratic fish in our admittedly small pond. And before everyone starts griping about how Rouson, Nurse and Justice are just small fry, please go back and read the qualifiers in the previous sentence. No, getting these folks on board is not like having Gov. Mark Warner headline a fundraiser for you, but it shows that Hackworth is maybe starting to get the establishment support that has so far been wary of Linn and Simpson.

I don’t know how much that fundraiser brought in – my ballpark guess would be $15,000-$25,000.

Besides the money, another factor is that he was able to bring prominent south county Dems on board. Dunedin is pretty far north from the heart of the 10th district and he will need to be strong in places like St. Petersburg, which is also where most of the Democrats live, if he wants to win the primary, much less the general.

Samm Simpson is still Samm Simpson. Her staying power is impressive and she may very well trump potentially stronger general election candidates to be the Democratic nominee. Certainly, her organization is better than I have given her credit for in the past.

But…

But she still has no proven ability to raise money or win more votes than the 1/3 of voters who are already “yellow dog Democrats.” My suspicion is that a lot of Democratic primary voters will be looking for someone who can win in November. If Simpson wants to be the nominee, she has to prove more than that she is “right” on the issues. She has to prove that she has the ability to raise six figures in contributions and that he has the organizational muscle to go up against Young.

Jury is still out in my eyes.

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