Margaret Good set a fundraising record in her first quarter as a congressional candidate. However,in context, the effort might be an indication that her campaign is not doing as swimmingly as one might first assume.
Good is the first Democratic candidate in Florida’s 16th Congressional District to raise $450,000 in the first quarter. While $450,000 is a significant number, it’s well short of what Good needs to make a splash in 2020.
Around the country, Democrat candidates in key congressional races are reporting seven figure hauls.
This is not the first time CD 16 has seen big fundraising numbers. During the first quarter of the 2018 cycle, Democrat David Shapiro raised a shade over $400,000 in his bid to unseat Congressman Vern Buchanan, who’s represented the district since 2006.
Shapiro went on to outraise Buchanan, something no other Democrat had ever done; all it got him was a 10-point shellacking.
Buchanan won the district by 33,000 votes in an election that saw Republicans around the country taken down by the Blue Wave.
Add in the presidential race in 2020 and just being competitive won’t be enough for Good to take on Buchanan. CD 16 went for Trump by 11 points in 2016 and there’s no doubt that the Buchanan camp will once again be well funded. And it has the same sharp team in place, including consultant Max Goodman, running his political operation.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Good is in the wrong race, against the wrong candidate, in the wrong district.
Republicans outnumber Democrats by nearly 50,000 voters. Ever since his first election to Congress in 2006, Buchanan won each subsequent race by an average of 20 points.
What may spell doom for the Good campaign may be that on impeachment — the hottest of hot button issues — she and Buchanan agree.
As the calls for impeachment reach a fever pitch, Good is on the record saying the reason her party is pursuing the impeachment process is “for political gamesmanship.”
The impeachment of President Donald Trump is the one issue that has galvanized the Democratic Party. Even blue dogs Democrats like U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy had to come out in support of it.
Calling out her party for playing political games is not going to bring in national donors to write the checks that Good’s will need to stay in the race.
To give her any shot in CD 16, Good would have to run to the middle, while her party races to the fringes to take the anti-Trump position on every possible issue. Good’s impeachment stance puts her on a very lonely island. If she sticks to her guns, funding will dry up quickly and her campaign will be over before the first of the year.
But if Good reverses course now, she’ll have to tell the voters in her district that she was against impeachment before she was for it.
And that’s a soundbite no candidate wants.