In last month’s primaries, Congressman Jeff Denham trounced newcomer Michael Eggman. Turnout was low but more people are expected to vote in the fall election. Mr. Eggman’s campaign is gearing up and the incumbent, subject to a wave of voter unhappiness, may end up in a real contest to keep his seat.
Shortly after the primary concluded, Michael Eggman challenged Jeff Denham to a series of five debates. Whether or not the incumbent accepts the challenge will depend on whether he thinks he can win without holding debates. With a large pool of cash from corporate donors, Mr. Denham may decide to buy his way to reelection. Denham may feel he can win by media advertising alone. This could occur if the Democratic Party does not pour in enough money to make Mr. Eggman a serious contender.
Informing the Public
Candidate Eggman has established a multipurpose web site at www.eggmanforcongress.com to broadcast his views, provide campaign news, and provide a means of making contributions or other campaign support. The site has information about issues that Mr. Eggman considers most important. Given the difference in the record of the incumbent versus the philosophy of the challenger, the reader should have an easy time differentiating the candidates and deciding which one to support.
Mr. Denham has been using weekly newsletters to update constituents about what he wants them to think that he is doing. Mr. Eggman’s website provides a comparable opportunity to sign up for newsletter updates. Going into the election, voters will have no reason not to be familiar with the candidates even if the local news media ignore the election completely.
Hoping for extensive media coverage, Mr. Eggman’s campaign indicated that media inquiries are welcome and that the more the informed the public, the better.
Still a Cakewalk?
In a previous article, this writer indicated that Jeff Denham could win in a cakewalk. The Eggman campaign has an uphill battle to gain name recognition and emphasize the merits of the candidate. The campaign has started in earnest and the challenger is trying to get traction.
One question is when the campaign will turn negative and the negative television advertisements begin. Last election, the candidate for the Democrats was an unenthusiastic astronaut who had recently moved into the district. This time around, the candidate has lived in the district his entire life and appears to be serious about gaining office.
The incumbent’s weakness is that he is predictable. Whether the opposition will be able to take advantage of the predictability and turn it to advantage will be critical for the campaign. Voters are angry enough to turn out the incumbent, but only if they think the replacement will do a better job. Denham talks a good game, so the fact checkers will need to be out in force.