E-Mail Message: "You're looking at the wrong thing, Peter. Neahring has $cratch, but she doesn't have people."
Maybe I underestimated Jim Crary's campaign.
It matters to Democratic voters which candidates are potential winners. They want to vote their preference among the seven, but a vote for a hopeless campaign doesn't influence the choice between those candidates with a plausible chance of winning. Some voters are strategic.
There is indirect data on whose campaigns are doing well. One is money raised in the District. Jamie McLeod Skinner and Jennifer Neahring raised the most. I inferred from the lack of money raised by Michael Byrne, Eric Burnette, Jim Crary, Raz Mason, and Tim White that their campaigns were fading. Money raised from real people in the District is a tool for spreading a message through mailers, TV, and lawn signs, but it is also a measure of who is successful in getting support. It is a kind of poll.
There is another data set. Facebook engagement. Each candidate has a Facebook page for the campaign. I don't doubt that there are ways to game the numbers, if one wanted to, but I will report what I see in the "Community" listing for each candidate.
Eric Burnette: 229 Likes 254 Follows
Michael Byrne: 1,306 Likes 1,356 Follows
Jim Crary: 4,385 Likes 4,560 Follows
Raz Mason: 165 Likes 178 Follows
Jamie Mc.-Skinner 2,371 Likes 2,482 Follows
Jennifer Neahring 560 Likes 603 Follows
Tim White 135 Likes 163 Follows
Facebook engagements reward time in the field securing supporters, so Crary's lead is not a surprise since he started early. He used his time well. It is imperfect data, but it shows something. It confirms yesterday's assertion that Jamie McLeod-Skinner has been a strong networker. It also elevates Jim Crary as a candidate, and diminishes Jennifer Neahring.
This data can be cross-checked with the count of people who have viewed videos they have posted on Facebook. My presumption is that if one has a genuinely big social media presence, it shows up in people who watch videos on ones Facebook page, a number that is visible to the public.
Michael Byrne's videos have very direct personal and policy criticism of Greg Walden, done in the style that is totally typical of Byrne: direct, disjointed, scattered, informal. Click: excellent example of Michael Byrne's style A couple of his early videos from March have 1,200 and 1,300 views, but videos he has up for the past month have had fewer than 250 views. This suggests that his campaign is not getting a last minute burst of enthusiasm.
White's videos have a consistent style and they have a tone that draws spirited applause in Democratic audiences. One video from late March has had 1,500 views, but more typical is the viewership of recent videos, ranging from fewer than 100 up to 700. I consider these videos a lost opportunity for White, because videos unseen do not change votes and I consider his videos to have a compelling message for Democratic primary voters.
There are ways through "boosting" to drive audiences to a video, so this may not reflect deep support or interest in the candidate's message--and future votes--but it does reflect Crary's ability to reach people through social media. Click: "I will work hard." His videos are not as compelling to me as are White's, but Crary gets people to see them.
What about the video numbers for the supposed frontrunners, Neahring and McLeod-Skinner? A video by McLeod-Skinner posted on April 27, her speech at the woman's rally in Medford, has 5,400 views. Jennifer Neahring's video, the one I have referenced in two earlier posts, has been up since April 25 and has 885 views. Neahring's campaign apparently hopes to reach its audience through paid media because it isn't getting it via Facebook networking.
Conclusion: When using money as a signal for campaign vigor, this is a two person race between Neahring and McLeod-Skinner. Using social media as a signal, then this is a two person race between Jim Crary and McLeod-Skinner. Combining money, Facebook engagement, and video views, then four candidates appear to have fallen behind; Tim White, Michael Byrne, Eric Burnette (late April video views of fewer than 900), Raz Mason (sparse video views and none recently).
Looking at the information combined, possibly this is a three person race: Neahring, Crary, and McLeod-Skinner.