One measure of candidate momentum is public opinion polls. Another is contributions, which are not just votes of confidence but also bets on a particular outcome. If a person is likely to become the next mayor, the theory goes, wouldn't you want to be one of the people who supported her back in the day?
By this measure, LaToya Cantrell and Desiree Charbonnet have definitely switched roles since the New Orleans mayoral race's early days, according to new reports just filed with the state ethics administration.
Charbonnet, the former municipal court judge, launched her campaign with a show of shock and awe, and had raised $1.3 million by the end of the previous reporting period, before the Oct. 14 primary. Cantrell, a sitting City Council member, collected less than half that during the same stretch.
But according to the new reports, Cantrell has now become the juggernaut while Charbonnet lags. Cantrell raised just over $613,000 between Sept. 25 and Oct. 29, and finished the period with more than $350,000 on hand. Charbonnet collected a little more than $357,000, and actually had a negative ending balance.
The period in question, of course, straddles the primary date, when Cantrell finished well ahead of Charbonnet. And it doesn't cover recent days, when Charbonnet's campaign has continued to hit Cantrell hard on questionable charges on her city credit card. But reports filed since, required when election day draws near, show the trend is continuing.
These numbers reveal much about how the campaign's narrative has changed — even as time to shift it again is quickly running out.