(My prediction was correct – Charniele has “suspended” her campaign. – promoted by lowkell)
After weeks of rumors, I’m getting confirmation from reliable sources that Charniele Herring will be dropping out of the 8th CD Democratic primary race tomorrow. With Satish Korpe announcing his withdrawal this weekend, that will leave 8 candidates – Don Beyer, Lavern Chatman, Adam Ebbin, Bill Euille, Patrick Hope, Derek Hyra, Mark Levine and Bruce Shuttleworth – left in the race to succeed Rep. Jim Moran, with just over 4 weeks to go until the Democratic primary election day on June 10. Here are a few thoughts on Charniele Herring’s soon-to-be-past-tense campaign for Congress.
1. It got off on the wrong foot, as Herring stayed on as DPVA Chair for almost two months (through March 15) after announcing her candidacy for Congress on January 23. Not cool. Even less cool was that she continued to send out emails in her capacity as DPVA Chair while running in a competitive Democratic primary. A lot of people were not happy about that, and she eventually stopped (for the most part), but c’mon.
2. Herring didn’t perform well in straw polls during her run for Congress. For instance, she finished 6th at the Mt. Vernon Dems event on March 1 (with just 15 votes out of more than 400 cast). Herring’s high point in straw polls was at the one not even in the district (Gerry Connolly’s St. Patrick’s Day straw poll), at which she received 46 votes (13%), FAR behind Don Beyer’s 127 votes (34%). In the Alexandria Democrats’ straw poll on April 6, Herring finished fifth with just 21 votes – well behind Adam Ebbin, Don Beyer, Bill Euille and Patrick Hope – in her own backyard. That’s just embarrassing. She also received ZERO votes at Frank O’Leary’s St. Patrick’s Day straw poll in Arlington (Patrick Hope finished first in that one with 67 votes, followed by Don Beyer with 37 votes and Adam Ebbin with 31 votes).
3. Herring was the only one of the candidates NOT to issue a statement about Dwight Jones’ candidacy for DPVA Chair. As was often the case with the Herring campaign, there was simply no response at all to requests for comment. Lame.
4. Herring received an “F” grade from yours truly for a complete lack of help to Arlington County Democratic Board nominee Alan Howze. That’s particularly bad when you consider that Herring was DPVA Chair. I mean, you’d think she’d care about helping to elect Democrats (other than herself, that is). Apparently not.
5. Herring’s performance in the first Democratic “forum” of the campaign was beyond abysmal. As I wrote at the time:
– She speaks barely above a whisper, with absolutely no confidence, struggles badly in trying to answer this straightforward question (which she should have been prepared for, but apparently wasn’t). Bottom line: it’s clear that Charniele Herring’s’s wayyyyy out of her league when it comes to foreign policy. This is very close to diqualifying in and of itself for someone running for Congress, which deals with crucial foreign policy questions all the time.
6. Herring’s 1Q14 fundraising numbers were not impressive, with $121,315 in receipts and $89,675 cash on hand. On top of everything mentioned above, Herring apparently has little ability to raise money.
7. Herring performed poorly in the Blue Virginia poll of large swaths of the 8th CD. Worst of all, she only polled at 10% in her own district, behind Bill Euille (14%), “undecided” (26%) and Don Beyer (33%). That’s beyond embarrassing, and really reflects on her name ID and popularity in her own House of Delegates district. As an 8th CD Democratic staffer put it to me earlier this evening, Herring’s so weak in her district she would probably lose a primary to Derek Hyra. In other districts, it was even worse — just 0.9% support in Patrick Hope’s House of Delegates district, just 1.3% support in Adam Ebbin’s State Senate district, just 5.0% support in Alexandria overall. Really, really weak.
8. The question is not whether this disastrous campaign hurts Charniele Herring’s ambitions for statewide office (by many accounts, that’s what she’s really interested in), but how badly it hurts her. Personally, after watching this campaign, and also after hearing many people’s scathing, off-the-record comments about her stint as DPVA Chair, I can’t imagine ever supporting her for statewide office. Based on numerous conversations, I can assert very confidently that this feeling is not unique to me. The question is, does Charniele Herring realize it? From what I hear, it sounds like she doesn’t.