Mo' Mo' Money?
Has Tommy Moore raised enough cash in the past month to make the South Carolina governor's race interesting? And if so, will he be smart enough to know how to spend it?
According to Moore, he raised a cool million in August.
At the last report, Gov. Mark Sanford had more than $4 million on hand, but he's been on TV consistently since the primary and shows no sign of slowing down with two new post-Labor Day TV ads.
Moore no doubt got a fundraising boost from public polls showing him pulling within single digits of Sanford. Apparently, he also got quite the kick in the pants from some key members of the Democratic establishment regarding the importance of dialing for dollars.
Fortunately for Sanford-backers, Moore's campaign has been an even bigger joke so far than the governor's.
An attempted hit on the ports issue (where Sanford is decidedly vulnerable) was pitifully mismanaged and Moore's attempt to paint Sanford into a corner on the domestic violence issue very nearly blew up in his face.
More damning, voters seem more confused than anything else on the uber-critical jobs issue, and the anti-school choice voting bloc isn't one Moore can rely on to carry him to victory, particularly if he doesn't have the cash to mobilize it.
The bottom line is that Moore's campaign has utterly failed at this point to exploit a number of glaring weaknesses in Sanford's current campaign strategy, and it is showing no signs whatsoever of being able to do so as the 2006 election enters its most critical phase.
That's why there's no guarantee that Moore - even if his boast of raising all this money turns out to be true - would have the foggiest idea as to how to leverage those dollars for maximum impact.
Internal polls - both Republican and Democratic - currently aren't offering the Aiken Senator much hope.
"Andre's in trouble," a longtime Democratic operative told FITS in reviewing the results of a recent Democratic poll. "But Sanford seems to have stopped the bleeding. His positives have actually upticked again, probably because of his television."
Sanford's ads this go-round are a far cry from his brilliant 2002 offerings, but when you get down to the Soccer Mom heart of the matter, even a weak performance from the telegenic incumbent beats a strong showing from your typical politician.
To be sure, Sanford's approval ratings and cult of personality have slipped considerably from their previous stratospheric heights, but the fact that even Democrats are admitting that he has "stopped the bleeding" bodes well for his re-election chances.
Stay tuned to FITS for the latest on Campaign '06 ...