One of our readers has made the mistaken conclusion that the Les Roberts for Congress campaign is ahead of his competitors merely in terms of fundraising. Given the focus of yesterday's article on the surprising fundraising success of Les Roberts during the period ending 12/31/05, such a misinterpretation is understandable. However, as I measure it, there are fully eight important aspects of campaigning that Les Roberts has dominated, and it is these eight aspects together that make Les Roberts the current Democratic frontrunner.
1. First, Les Roberts is far, far, far, far ahead in terms of raising money. In fact, as of the last filing, Les Roberts is the ONLY candidate who had raised ANY money. Roberts has already raised much more money than was ever raised by Jeff Miller during the entire 2004 campaign cycle. Nope, Mike Arcuri had not actually gathered any donations as of December's filing deadline - more on that tomorrow.
2. Les Roberts has dominated the media coverage.
3. Les Roberts is the only candidate with a campaign headquarters.
4. Les Roberts is the only candidate to have been touring the district, making speeches to promote his campaign, and meeting voters as he's done so.
5. Les Roberts is the only candidate to have even written, much less made, a formal announcement speech.
6. Les Roberts is the only candidate with any significant online presence. This doesn't just mean that Les Roberts has a web site, whereas the other Democratic candidates don't. It also means that he has dominated the blog coverage.
7. Les Roberts is the only candidate with a reputation that transcends just one part of the district.
8. Les Roberts is ahead in terms of time. Les Roberts has about a two month head start on the other Democratic candidates.
In each one of these eight aspects, Les Roberts is ahead. Taken together, these eight aspects of the dominance of the Les Roberts campaign make the task of any Democrat who wants to take frontrunner status away from Les Roberts quite daunting.
These eight aspects are all measurable features of a campaign, and that's important, because right now, three of the four campaigns for the Democratic nomination are unknown. We don't know if any of the candidates has raised any money since January 1. We don't know what positions any of the candidates, besides Les Roberts, take on the important issues of the day. We don't even know if these three mystery candidates really know what their positions on the issues are.
People are making a lot of speculations about Bruce Tytler, Mike Arcuri, and Leon Koziol right now, but they don't have much basis for those speculations.
We, the Democratic voters of the 24th District, need to be disciplined enough to base our choice of candidate on facts, not speculation. Campaigns by rumor and nasty whispers rely on deception as much as truth.
Maybe that's a ninth aspect of the Les Roberts campaign that has been superior to the other campaigns. Les Roberts has been the only Democratic candidate so far to make his campaign open and accessible to the public. That tells us a lot about what kind of Congressman Les Roberts would be.
Things can change. Come the April filing deadline, we may learn that some other candidate has surpassed expectations and caught up to Les Roberts. Until then, Les Roberts is clearly the man to beat.