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.