One of the biggest names in Maryland politics who chose to be “Off the Record” and anonymous was asked recently for a comment on Anthony Brown’s fund raising woes and faltering campaign. The big shot replied, “Anthony Who?”
“Anthony Who?” sums up the political mood in Maryland. Anthony gets press but only as the punchline of a Hogan joke or as an explanation for why True Blue Maryland has a Republican Governor. Frankly constant reinforcement of Brown’s failure day after day week after week in Democrat friendly sources such as the Washington Post and the Baltimore Sun is Death by a Thousand Cuts to Anthony’s political hopes.
It is early in the race is this just “Inside Baseball” or does it really matter? Brown is known by more than 90% of the district and liked by more than 60%. The biggest problem right now is that political insiders are not taking him seriously. In the first reporting cycle Anthony Brown raised $52,000 as compared to Glenn Ivey’s $117,000 in the first (partial) fund raising cycle. The assumption was that Anthony was slow getting off the dime and did not have his team in place. Now three months later he still has no Campaign Manager and he raised a paltry $122,000 in the second cycle. It was expected that Anthony would rake in ball park $500,000 since after all he just ran for Governor and his donor list is fresh. Ivey is out of office for a few years so Anthony should have a big advantage but again Brown loses by more than 2 to 1.
As for Anthony’s high positives the little secret that no one is mentioning is that how you phrase the question determines the outcome. If you phrase it “Former States Attorney Glenn Ivey” instead of just “Glenn Ivey” the Brown advantage flipflops to Ivey by 2 percentage points or well within the margin of error. If you frame it “Failed Gubernatorial Candidate Anthony Brown” then it is Ivey by 7 points. If you bring up that Anthony does not own a home in the 4th Congressional District he slips a little more. Voters are uncomfortable with the $150,000,000 that Anthony mismanaged on the State’s healthcare website. Who frames the discussion determines the outcome and Anthony Brown is not raising the money he needs to frame the discussion.
Anthony’s website as of July 16, 2015 points to some of his big negatives; Take the first paragraph for instance:
“Over the past two weeks, I've heard from many of you - my friends, neighbors and supporters who have urged me to consider running for office.” http://anthonybrown.com/
First of all he announced Mar 12, 2015 so he has not updated his amateurish 1 page website in almost 4 months. This is due in no part to the inability of the campaign to secure a campaign manager. Second it is one page. It looks like he hired a teenager from his neighborhood to do the site. Compare it to http://www.iveyforcongress.com/ and the differences become even more apparent. The only positive is that in the one photo Anthony looks less “goofy” than usual. He is a fine looking man but he tends to look silly or angry in most photos. The camera just does not love Anthony. In the gubernatorial primary his photos were categorized as either “Angry Anthony” or Urkle (from the ABC/CBS sitcom, Family Matters).
Is it over for Anthony?
Quite honestly he needs a big infusion of cash. But donors like winners and winners do not lose two fundraising cycles in a row. Voters also like winners and that bodes poorly for Anthony Brown.