Senate primary premortem

The last SUSA poll of the Democratic Senate primary will be out today, and barring some unforeseen comeback by Fischer, it should confirm that Bruce Lunsford pretty much has this thing in the bag, as both SUSA and the LHL did last week with polls showing Lunsford up 18 and 20 points.

A few things I want to say right now:

I went canvassing across my neighborhood yesterday for Eric Thomason, who is running for 3rd Dist. Council here in Lexington (and who you should all vote for if you live here). There were signs in about 75% of the yards, most of them for the local Council race (and Thomason. woot.). But for the Senate race, it was 100% Fischer. Zero Lunsford signs. I have literally not seen one in Lexington. (if you have seen one, send me a picture… seriously)

Now, I live in one of the most liberal neighborhoods in Lexington, if not the most. And progressives/liberals certainly deserve to have a progressive candidate to vote for. Lunsford is certainly not a progressive, and I doubt that any have forgotten what he did in 2003. Greg Fischer says liberal sounding generalities, but I honestly don’t know what he is. If he somehow won the nomination, I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if he spun those generalities far to the right.

So what’s up with this yard sign phenomenon, considering Fischer is so far behind in the polls?
Well, part of it is that Fischer volunteers have actually tried to earn votes. Yard signs don’t magically appear, they are the result of people pounding the pavement. And it’s clear that Bruce Lunsford either (1) didn’t make much of an effort to win what he knew would be an easy primary, or (2) just doesn’t have any passionate supporters willing to volunteer for him. Most likely a mixture of both. In the absence of any effort by Lunsford, and presented with his past and the liberal generalities of Fischer, they stick out the Fischer sign.

So I will say this: active Fischer supporters deserved a lot better from their candidate and his team, as they ran a poor campaign from the top, while those at the bottom worked their butt off. I’ve said this endlessly, but I’ll just summarize the big two mistakes- (1) Fischer’s refusal (or inability) to spend his millions from the start of his campaign to raise his name ID, (2) Fischer going Vencor on Lunsford, which made enemies and drew the public ire of great progressive Democrats like John Yarmuth and Crit Luallen, as well as almost all liberal KY blogs who care about Ditching Mitch.

And then there are a host of other mistakes- such as those intentionally misleading flyers going out in the black neighborhoods of Louisville, suggesting that Obama has somehow endorsed the Fischer campaign. As I said a long long time ago, the Fischer campaign should have hitched its star to the underdog outsider candidacy of Barack Obama early on and picked up whatever coattails it could from the activist base of progressive Democrats. Fischer didn’t, instead trying this cowardly tactic in the flyers (in addition to the Vencor crap, and his intelligence insulting tactic of then saying Lunsford was relying on a negative campaign). And having your campaign manager say this crap to a reporter from a newspaper that endorsed you and has not been critical of you- “We know that the papers are not interested in covering the U.S. Senate race,” … And I hope you quote that.” That’s just a continuation of the follies that have come from the top of this campaign.

So, in short, his supporters and volunteers deserved a lot better.

Anyway, I’m sure I’ll have more to say in the next 48 hours.