Last night at the 37th LD Dems’ monthly meeting, U.S. Rep. Adam Smith talked about the tough electoral climate Democrats will be facing this November, pointing out that even he faced a credible challenger for the first time in years.
According to the FEC, Rep. Smith was sitting on nearly $650,000 cash on hand at the end of the March quarter, while his closest rival, James Postma, had an almost respectable reserve of about $135,000 at the end of 2009. I emphasize the date, because Postma has failed to file the Q1 report due April 15. Postma also hasn’t updated his website since at least early April, his Facebook page since March, and his Twitter feed since, well, ever. So it’s not really clear that Postma is still running.
Not that Postma was ever all that credible. Rep. Smith already defeated him by a nearly two-to-one margin back in 2008, and of the $150,977 Postma had raised before apparently dropping off the edge of the earth, $150,900 was a loan from himself. No, $77 in individual contributions is not really credible at all.
So I suppose the credible challenger Rep. Smith must’ve been talking about is Pierce County Councilman Dick Muri, who raised $56,000 through the end of March, for a total of $43,000 cash-on-hand. No, money isn’t everything, but from all reports Muri isn’t exactly the kinda imposing political presence who can afford to be outspent by a 15-to-1 margin.
No doubt Rep. Smith hails from a swing district, at least demographically, despite the firm electoral hold he’s managed to take on it over the past decade, but I haven’t heard even whispers of Republican optimism in WA-09, despite the GOP’s almost religious belief in the cleansing powers of an imminent Big Red Wave.
So sorry Adam, don’t mean to put a crimp in your fundraising appeals or anything, but the real opportunity for a GOP pickup is WA-03, where Rep. Brian Baird’s retirement has left an open seat for the taking, and to a much lesser extent in WA-02, where it remains to be seen if Snohomish County Councilman John Koster can wage the credible challenge to Democratic incumbent Rep. Rick Larsen that state Republicans have been promising. But, you know, it never looks good to come off as overconfident, so keep at it.