Mail ballots have dropped and early voting has started
With the election basically upon us and the Democratic field still dangerously crowded, we have to consider strategic voting to make sure a Democrat makes it through the primary. Doug Applegate has been the consistent Democratic front-runner in four reputable polls (two in mid-February, one in early April, and one recent poll in the last week of April). He is the best bet to be one of the top two winners in June.
Applegate has maintained his lead in the face of over $3 million spent by Sara Jacobs and Paul Kerr to gain name recognition and awareness. Jacobs and Kerr have definitely moved up in the polls, but time is running short for them and it now looks like they don't have the momentum to break through and take the lead.
Poll Momentum, mid-February to late April
Playing the chess game out
If Doug can turn his current lead into votes, especially with the help of strategic voting on the part of Democrats, then the odds are in favor of him making the top two in June - and getting on the final ballot in November.
Remember, there is still a chance that the Republicans could lock us out. Don't take too much comfort from Rocky's fall from grace. Things are clearly in flux on the Republican side, and that fluidity could end up hurting us if Diane Harkey and Rocky Chavez wind up splitting the Republican vote.
What about the other Democrats? None of them has ever led in a reputable poll. Based on recent poll data, it looks to us like Sara Jacobs is relying on young voters for her support, and while we are rooting for them to show up in June, they have a very uneven record for turn-out. Mike Levin has a solid operation but he's never broken out of a narrow range throughout the entire campaign. Paul Kerr looks the most like a spoiler in spite of his heavy spending in March and April.
Our best bet: Doug Applegate
We think the strongest play for Democrats is to support Applegate. He's got the best odds of making it through to November. Also, if the Republicans stumble and Sara's young voters turn out in droves (or Levin manages to break through his ceiling), then voting for Applegate might even give us a shot at two Democrats on final ballot. If you're undecided about a candidate, please consider voting for Applegate. And if you are supporting Paul Kerr, please think about whether or not that might be a wasted vote.
Voices of the 49th is committed to making sure that voters in the 49th congressional district have a meaningful choice in November... which means engaging, educating, informing, and influencing voters through the jungle primary in June so that a Democrat makes it on to the final ballot.