I’m going to try to pick up the fundraising pace. Here’s an ask from reader JA:
This is a plea for money on behalf of Jamie McLeod-Skinner, a Democrat running in the November election to represent Oregon’s Second Congressional District, replacing long-time Republican Representative Greg Walden.
I have said here on Balloon Juice that I thought Greg has a lock on his seat. His R-majority constituents have happily returned him for ten terms, and during those twenty years no Democratic challenger has come close to unseating him. I bought the conventional wisdom that the 2018 election would be no different.
That was before I met Jamie.
Jamie has at least two game-changing factors in her favor.
First, she’s an appealing candidate — of any party affiliation — for the vast rural Second, twenty rural counties comprising nearly two-thirds of Oregon’s geography. Her approach and her message are intensely local. She has a knack for making people feel heard, and for building broad support for non-partisan solutions. She is fresh and energetic, with deep family roots in the same rangeland culture misrepresented by the Bundys and Hammonds. Jamie has the right mix of qualities to attract persuadable conservatives, yet, though she may not always make progressives 100% happy, she’s no Blue Dog. Plus, for the BJ audience, she is an unapologetic dog lover, whip smart and pleasingly opinionated, and an out, married lesbian.
The second game-changing factor is an emerging perception that Walden is vulnerable in this election in a way he hasn’t been up to now. Part of that is the broader Trump taint. But a more damaging element in this district is that Greg’s once-admirable record of close contact and effective representation has been eclipsed by his party loyalty and clear support for wealthy special interests. He has taken a lot of grief from all sides over his support for the tax bill and for his sponsorship of AHCA, both of which are called out in local, typically Walden-friendly media for harming large minorities of Greg’s constituents. There has been a well-established “raised middle finger” satisfaction for many of Greg’s long-time voters — by supporting Oregon’s sole Republican elected federal office holder, they are really sticking it to the liberal pansies in the more populous western third of the state. But some of those same Walden die-hards voted for Senator Wyden in 2016.
Greg is absolutely mailing it in so far this campaign. He’s currently getting yelled at for avoiding voter contact while making plenty of time for non-resident donors in distant, closed-door fundraisers. The sleeper bet for 2018 is that Walden is easily back-footed and that enough of his Republican constituents will vote for Jamie to make the difference. While Greg lowers himself further into the swamp, Jamie is meeting voters and attracting volunteers in numbers not seen for any Second District candidate, of any party, ever.
Jamie McLeod-Skinner’s campaign is at a critical phase in mid-August.
She has had a surge of fundraising lately, but she will need more heading into the final months before the election, when hard costs (ads, lawn signs, paid campaign staff) make the most difference, and when every contribution makes it easier to bring in even more.
Jackals, this is an opportunity to boost a campaign with a real shot at a seat few thought worth the effort just a short time ago. A win for Jamie is within reach. It’s the right move for the district, and it will be one of the biggest upsets in the Blue Tsunami.
If you have a few spare dollars, thank you for helping Oregon’s Second by contributing at the link. XOX
You know what to do.