Garagiola’s campaign said its superior political organization will trump Delaney’s self-funding next week.
“In a low-turnout primary that might be enough to counteract Delaney trying to buy the race,” said Daniel Mintz, MoveOn.org’s national director of coordinated campaigns. “Anytime you’ve got one candidate pouring more than a million dollars into a campaign, that’s going to make it hard on everyone else.”
Rankin, Garagiola’s campaign manager, said he expects fewer than 45,000 people to vote in the primary and that the campaign is betting its get-out-the-vote infrastructure will pull through.
“Whoever runs a more effective field operation has the best chance to win what will be an incredibly tight race,” he said.
“Institutional forces in Maryland will have an impact on Election Day,” an unaligned Maryland Democratic strategist added, acknowledging that Garagiola has the edge on that front. “They have tested turnout operations and can help their candidate, but the question is: Will that be enough?”
Garagiola’s GOTV effort will no doubt be helped by his support from organized labor groups, Hoyer and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D). The two lawmakers backed Garagiola early and helped cement the state Senator’s status as the establishment candidate.
Edwards’ endorsement of Delaney last week was much more controversial, with one Democratic operative describing it as “an obvious shot” at Hoyer.
The AFL-CIO, which has ardently supported Edwards and now backs Garagiola, issued a memo highly critical of the Congresswoman’s decision, according to the Baltimore Sun.
The irony of how the primary has unfolded is not lost on the Maryland political operatives who have been watching it closely. In many ways the map that was designed to boost Garagiola has worked against him because it fed the perception that he was being anointed by kingmakers in Annapolis.
“You can’t pick winners in this business,” an unaligned Maryland Democratic insider said. “You’ve got to win it for yourself.”