“In Charlie’s (Justice) case, he’s doing a lot of grass roots stuff, which tends to have an impact on voters but isn’t as visible to the press or the public in general,” former Pinellas Democratic Party chairman Ramsay McLauchlan said. “The question is what is Charlie going to have as of Oct. 1. If he has $50,000, you can do a lot.”
McLauchlan’s assessment of Justice’s fortune is part of a larger story by the Tampa Bay Times‘ Anna Phillips. It’s the usual Democrat-candidate-has-no-money-but-the-grassroots-will-save-them bullshit that local D’s have been spouting for more than a decade. If candidates with no money but some grassroots support could win elections, Justice’s first name would currently be Congressman.
But that’s not my real issue with McLauchlan’s statement. My issue is the part about ‘if Justice has $50,000 on Oct. 1, he’s competitive.’
By October 1, ballots to military and overseas voters will have already been sent. More important, ballots to tens of thousands of early voters are scheduled to be mailed Oct. 2.
So, no Ramsay, if Justice or any other candidate is just getting their act together by October 1, they are not going to do a lot. In fact, they will be playing catch-up to a GOP machine which has long understood that early fundraising is an absolute necessity in this era of early voting.
McLauchlan’s analysis is why Pinellas Democrats lose, neatly summed up in one paragraph.