Robin Carnahan's visit to a bakery yesterday came far too late to forestall Rasmussen Reports from moving her Senate race from 'toss-up' to 'leans gop', as Blunt's lead widened to six points.Carnahan's attacks have been growing more shrill, as she cycles through increasingly unpleasant messages trying to find something that will stick. We don't see success in her near future. There is a serious credibility gap with her strategy of portraying herself as an 'outsider'. People just don't believe it.
The attacks never had much traction, no doubt in part because of her own family and special interest ties and her extensive efforts to hide her own past. Carnahan has made a few tiny rallies in past months, but nothing that can't be explained by the margin of error: the lead almost magnetically returns to Blunt.
It's just too hard to portray your opponent as an insider when he's running ads where Barack Obama, an increasingly unpopular President, gives such effusive praise as Carnahan is a 'vote he can count on'.
Is there any sign of a game-changer?
No. Even if there was, it's not clear that Carnahan's campaign has the savvy to take advantage of it. They thought they saw an opportunity in the Gulf Oil Spill, but the online ads they launched were almost universally panned for their factual inaccuracy.
Our advice to Robin: don't count on visits to bakeries to fix your Senate campaign. Or at least make sure the bakery isn't going to side with your opponent...
Lubeley owner Helen Lubeley Murray listened to some of what Carnahan had to say. Murray said afterward that the owners had allowed the Carnahan event as "a favor to a family friend," and were pleased to be hosts.
But Murray emphasized that the bakery's OK should not be construed as a political endorsement.
Murray said that her family's political decisions hinge largely on one issue that Carnahan did not mention during today's visit. "We're staunch pro-life people," she said.
Murray added that she was aware that Carnahan supports abortion rights.
When local businesses that host your events say they were only doing it as a favor for someone else, and all but stop short of endorsing your opponent - that's just embarrassing.