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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Sunshine State

A brutal day-job schedule, followed by a business trip to an area of Florida with very unreliable internet service, has stilled the bray of the New Donkey the last few days, but I’ll try to make up for it this week.Speaking of Florida, the political buzz down there is all about the death spiral of Katherine Harris’ Senate campaign. Check out these lines from an AP story today:

Representative Katherine Harris’s Senate campaign lost what was left of its core team when a top adviser, her campaign manager and her communications director resigned this weekend….Ms. Harris’s candidacy, which had received lukewarm support from Republican leaders in Washington, has struggled since she announced plans to challenge Mr. Nelson last summer. Fund-raising was slow from the start. Turnover has been a problem. She also lost a pollster, a national financial director, a treasurer and a media consultant in recent months.

Advisers urged Ms. Harris to leave the race. She refused and announced last month that she would spend $10 million of her own money to compete with Mr. Nelson, whom she has trailed in the polls.”This is a campaign that is spiraling downward by the minute,” said Jim Dornan, who resigned as campaign manager in November.

In a supreme testament to the power of denial, Harris’ comment on the latest series of defections was inexclicably upbeat:

Ms. Harris, a Republican who is challenging Senator Bill Nelson, the Democratic incumbent, said Saturday that the campaign had already lined up people who believed in her candidacy and that she would introduce them in the coming week.”We are stronger as a campaign today than we were yesterday,” Ms. Harris said in a news release. She did not return a call for comment.

Word is Harris is turning her campaign into an explicit Christian Right crusade. This, along with her heroine status among hard-core Republicans for helping George W. Bush hijack Florida’s electoral votes in 2000, will probably get her over any last-minute primary challenge. But for all her invocations of divine favor, her campaign continues to represent a God-given burst of sunshine on the fortunes of Bill Nelson, and Florida Democrats.

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