First, his Democrat opponent announced a giant cash on hand advantage in the 2nd fundraising quarter superior to even what the incumbent was able to muster last time around the block in 2006.
Yesterday’s new Quinnipiac survey was just salt on the wound. It showed Bob Menendez leading Kyrillos, 47% to 34%, in the race for New Jersey’s junior U.S. Senate seat with slightly under four months to go before Election Day 2012 (pdf). Senator Menendez led his Republican challenge by a more modest margin, 44% to 35%, back in April’s Q-Poll.
Kyrillos Campaign Manager Chapin Fay did his best to place an emphasis on the incumbent’s obvious weaknesses:
After nearly two decades in Washington, Bob Menendez is still under 50% in the polls and has an anemic 37% favorability rating. That’s because Bob Menendez has failed New Jersey—unemployment is much higher, our deficit is much higher, and the standard of living for middle class families is lower than when he was elected to the Senate. When voters compare Joe’s record of reform to Menendez’s failed partisan record of job-killing taxes and regulation, the choice will be clear. Senator Kyrillos, along with Governor Chris Christie and other like-minded reformers, have worked to balance our budgets without raising taxes, cut spending, and restore a state that was so poorly managed it was on the brink of bankruptcy. New Jerseyans know that a vote for Menendez is a vote they cannot afford.”
The key phrase here is “[w]hen voters compare Joe’s record of reform to Menendez’s failed partisan record of job-killing taxes and regulation, the choice will be clear.” He’s right, but when will New Jersey’s voters get that chance?
That’s what I’m worried about. Voters can only work with what you give them, and 72% of voters presently don’t know enough about Joe Kyrillos to form an opinion. That’s 7-points better than April, but is it really at the end of the day? Because Bob Menendez improved his advantage, too.
Let’s get busy, folks. The Kyrillos campaign can’t make up a 13-point gap between Labor Day and Election Day without help from an outside event (e.g. a fresh Menendez scandal or an Obama polling collapse). Menendez’s money advantage will dominate the airwaves, and the reality of a skeleton Romney campaign in New Jersey (and Pennsylvania, too) through the fall means little paid media help from up the ballot.
Name recognition is the name of the game. Here’s two exceptionally easy things that you can do (besides donating money) to boost Joe’s numbers:
1. Voter Contact: phone banks can’t make campaigns. They can, however, help campaigns identify voters and improve their turnout program. The 1, 2 or 3-point boost such efforts are estimated to generate on Election Day could be the difference if all else goes well. The Kyrillos folks are putting together one such event this upcoming Saturday; click here to visit the Facebook page and consider checking it out for yourselves. They won’t bite! If anything, there will likely be some free goodies to bite into.
2. Share this Post! Yes, this item is a little self-serving. Trust in my intentions! Senator Kyrillos needs to “introduce” himself to as many voters as possible if he wants to be U.S. Senator Kyrillos in January. So help him out! Save Jersey is a one-stop information injection for New Jersey voters. You simply won’t find a more extensive archive of this race anywhere else on the web. Or for this purpose, they won’t find a better place to “meet Joe” (besides his website) than right here. Go ahead and share this post with your Facebook friends and Twitter followers. What takes you 10 seconds to share might net him 10 votes; that math adds up quick!