The Only Number that Matters Tuesday
The most important number coming out of Tuesday’s gubernatorial primary is NOT going to what percentage of the vote that Brian Murphy receives in the Republican Primary.
The important number is the combined percentage that J.P. Cusick and Ralph Jaffe receive in the Democratic gubernatorial primary.
Why is the Cusick/Jaffe number more important than the Murphy number? Well a lot of the media and the Democrats have been wondering whether or not Murphy will cross the “Fustero Line”, achieving the same 20% of the primary vote against Bob Ehrlich that grocery clerk Ray Fustero received against Kathleen Kennedy Townsend in the 2002 Democratic Primary. However, comparing Murphy to Fustero is not an apt comparison.
Whatever you think of Murphy’s campaign, he HAS campaigned. He has been touring the state, running TV commercials, distributing signs, etc. One would suspect that a candidate for Governor who puts in at least a modicum of effort should be able to achieve 20% of the vote if they catch some breaks. While I do not believe Murphy will get that far, we should not be surprised if such a candidate does in fact get to 20.
J.P. Cusick and Ralph Jaffe on the other hand have done no campaigning whatsoever. They have raised no money. They are on the ballot for whatever reasons that they have decided to run for Governor. What will be important to observe on primary night will be how close Cusick and Jaffe combined get to the Fustero line.
Many a conservative Democrat are completely disaffected with Martin O’Malley and his lack of leadership during his first term as Governor. We should not be at all surprised then if O’Malley has trouble eclipsing the 80-percent mark, and that is the only challenger to the “Fustero Line” that matters.