Oct 092013

Politico’s headlined today “Ro Khanna outraises Mike Honda again.” And outraised him he did, $500K to $385K.   The difference is not very high this time, however, and Honda’s campaign notes that after expenses they both took home about $200K.  The numbers, however, hide the real story of Khanna’s campaign.

For Politico, “Khanna’s war chest could help him introduce himself to voters and define his opponent through TV air time as the June 2014 jungle primary November 2014 election get closer.”  What it misses, is that Khanna is putting his campaign money into field operations right now.  The money pays for training and managing volunteers who are walking door to door introducing Khanna to the voters as close to face-to-face as they physically get.  While Khanna is walking himself, there is a limit to how many houses he can hit before the November election.

What should scare Honda more than anything, is the caliber of Khanna’s volunteers.  The ones I’ve met or interacted with through Facebok have been smart, educated, likable and able to make a compelling case for their candidate.  They are true believers who’ve fallen under Khanna’s spell – or perhaps, as friends and colleagues of Khanna, they are all form part of his magic formula.  Indeed, one of Khanna’s principal virtues is that he listens to advise from those who surround him.

I don’t know if these volunteers will be enough – but his campaign recently hired one of the most effective ones.  That’s a very intelligent use of money, but one that requires having money in the first place.  That, Khanna got.

Two months ago, I was pretty sure Khanna had no chance.  Now, I think he’s firmly on the ring.


  6 Responses to “Khanna’s Fundraising Prowess Hides His Road to Victory”

  1. I see what you did there.

    Cleverly using the space for an under the radar ad for Rojit, and pointing out that he has hired expensive consultants and the team led by former Obama staffer Jeremy Bird to run a large field operation.

    These things are true but they do not guarantee a win and for people like me who care about civil liberties seeing the Facebook candidate presented like a progressive is quite frustrating.

    I do agree with you, Khanna has a good team, but he is the wrong candidate for CA-17, where most people are struggling with huge rents, high crime (downtown San Jose) and still reeling from the foreclosure crisis. having a guy with all the money in the world will only help the folks donating and having his ear, like the man who destroyed an ancient forest just because he could (former Napster founder).

    for California’s sake, I hope voters in CA-17 keep their old reliable Honda.

    • If you click on the “Ro Khanna” tag, you’ll see I’ve been writing about Ro for quite a while and I’m pretty sure I mentioned the fact that he hired Obama campaign staffers before. I do think that the extent of his field operations is not widely known, however, and that ultimately he will win or lose on it. What fascinates me more is why he elicits such strong reactions from his followers. I mean, even the fact that he has followers is pretty rare in electoral politics, at least around here. I can’t think of many other politicians that do. Sure, he has the years of the rich – but that’s true of Honda as well, they are different rich and maybe fewer – but, at this point, he also has the ears of everyone else. Will that change if he’s elected? I don’t know.

      Ultimately, it will be up to the CD 17 voters to decide whether he’s the right or wrong voice for them. I can only write for my perspective as a liberal Democrat who doesn’t live in the district and who wants the people that get elected to be the best for the whole country.

  2. You did not address the actual add pulled from Rojit’s website. whats the deal with that?

    I will concede all your points, you only report the field campaign (does Honda have one? ) and you don’t live in the district I get that (as a progressive I’m concerned that we are getting attacked by the Business Dems but thats me)

    however, the sliver with a quote and picture is lifted from campaign materials, I call BS on that.

    no se lo tome personal, necesitamos que siga escribiendo e incomodando a los electos, para que trabajen en favor de el pueblo, eso yo personalmente lo admiro de usted.


    • Guillermo, the ad was there to illustrate the story, but reading up I realized that when I wrote “I don’t know if these volunteers will be enough – but his campaign recently hired one of the most effective ones,” I actually omitted the name of the volunteer he hired, Shobana Ramamurthi, the woman in the ad I lifted from his page. I lifted the ad to illustrate that, so I didn’t quite get your reference to the “ad” until now.

      I “met” Shobana in Facebook a long time ago, and I know she’s been an amazing advocate for Ro, and she was hired only recently.

      If Honda has a field campaign, I haven’t heard of it. I follow both of them on twitter and on Facebook. But field campaigns don’t work the same for incumbents. Incumbents are more about going to events where they can meet lots of people at the same time.

      I don’t want a business democrat in DC. I’m not convinced that’s what Ro is. A lo mejor, pero me parece que es much más complicado que eso.

  3. I hope this link works, the best race analysis I’ve seen (slightly Kahana centric) but.


    • I thought that article was pretty good, though others think it’s biased towards Ro. It does a pretty good job of outlining both where the candidates stand and the criticisms of each one of them. I hear, however, that the cover of the magazine made Honda look terrible.

      The one article I found about Ro that made me think he’s more complex on economic issues (which are not my http://www.salon.com/2013/10/22/silicon_valleys_march_on_washington/“>The candidate from Facebook: Silicon Valley’s march on Washington on Salon.com

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