Q&A #2 -- Khazei's Chances

"K B" asks:

How does Khazei's $1.1 million raised by 9/30 affect the Senate race?  And is there ANY way he can surmount the name-recognition barrier?

The first question really answers the latter: if this fundraising pace continues, then he can rapidly raise his name recognition.

It's not yet clear to me how impressive the $1.1m is. It could be mostly from a core group of Khazei's philanthropic friends, giving the max $4800 -- half for the primary, half for the general-election campaign. If that's the case, it would be a lot less than $1.1m spendable in the primary, and could mean that he's maxed out his donor base.

But if it's the start of a steady cascade of funds -- and if he triggers a flood of small-donor online contributions -- Khazei will have plenty to compete with.

More importantly, though, my guess is that Khazei's potential strength lies not in his ability to run a barrage of ads, but in his ability to organize and mobilize on the ground. Remember, even with all the attention this race is getting, it's still a special-election primary -- turnout will likely be dominated by core active Democrats. If Khazei can inspire them, the way Deval Patrick did four years ago, and if he can quickly organize a really effective field operation, which you would think would be his wheelhouse, he could be a major factor in the race.

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