Congressman Bruce Braley has been running for the U.S. Senate for almost five months now, but apparently most Iowans either don’t know or don’t really care. What’s even more shocking is that even some Democrats don’t even know he’s a candidate.
Last week, Maggie Eylers tweeted at Braley imploring him to run for the open U.S. Senate seat in 2014. Eylers Tweeted, “I haven’t heard anything about you running for Senator next year, PLEASE… Iowa NEEDS you to fill Harkin’s seat. Please say yes.”
Braley, who mostly uses Twitter to post pictures of himself in towns across the state, replied by writing, “Maggie, I said ‘yes’ in February.”
I don’t think it’s uncommon for an average Iowan not to know that Braley is running for the U.S. Senate, but Ms. Eylers is obviously an unabashed liberal by the looks of her Twitter feed. Shouldn’t a political activist who knows Bruce Braley also know that he’s running for the U.S. Senate? Apparently not.
The conversation was just too good for me to let go by with out comment. I replied to both Braley and Eylers by saying, “How embarrassing. Braley fans don’t even know he’s running for the U.S. Senate. Nice campaign you are running, Bruce.”
My involvement in the conversation elicited a number of Democrats to jump to Braley’s defense. Some took the opportunity to rip the GOP field of Senate candidates. Others said that Eylers was the “only person in Iowa” who didn’t know Braley was running for the Senate. I quickly corrected this individual by pointing out that the latest Des Moines Register Iowa Poll showed that only 57 percent of Iowans even knew who he was, so Eylers isn’t exactly alone.
What was more fascinating is that Eylers responded to debate about Braley’s campaign by adding, “Marketing needs to be improved. After all this is a statewide election. I am NOT the only one asking.” That’s harsh criticism considering that Braley is the presumptive Democrat nominee for the U.S. Senate.
While the news media and some political prognosticators are busy weighing in on the viability of the Republican field of candidates, they have either overlooked or ignored Braley’s shortcomings as a statewide candidate. Yes, Braley will win the Democrat nomination. Yes, Braley has raised a lot of money for his campaign, most of which is from out-of-state sources. And yes, Braley is a sitting member of Congress, but he’s not the 800-pound gorilla people have made him out to be.
Besides the fundraising department, Braley has run a pathetic campaign up to this point. With all that is going on in Washington these days, it’s shocking how little we hear about Braley. Twitter and Facebook seem to indicate that he’s out driving around the state visiting various communities, but he’s making little impact doing so. If a liberal activists who takes to Twitter to vent about everything from the need for immigration reform to gay marriage doesn’t even know that Braley is running, he’s got real problems.
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