Over the past day, an intriguing rumor has started wending its way through the local political community -- one which could, if true, be of more than a little bit of interest for seven-tenths of the Board of County Commission candidates.
We've heard from multiple sources that the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People -- whose ability to get-out-the-vote and gain support for their PAC's nominees -- is planning a massive, 35,000 home mailing targeting Durham's black community and containing the full slate of the DCABP's endorsements.
If the Committee could pull this off, it'd be a startling show of vitality from the Durham institution, around the borders of which elected officials and elected-wannabes genuflect and tread carefully.
And that "if" is part of the problem: the DCABP has made similar promises in the past, and hasn't followed through. Instead, community networks, churches, the local news and poll workers have been key carriers of the Committee's endorsements.
Still, if they have found a funding source to get the message out, could it have an outsized impact on the election? Perhaps.
Certainly, the dynamics of this election are going to be unusual, given the massive African-American turnout we're seeing in other communities throughout the southeast U.S. due to the presence of Barack Obama on the ticket.
Additionally, since this year's BOCC election essentially happens during a primary election -- and not a general, GOP vs. Dems election -- the role of the parties to organize and endorse candidates is non-existent, taking away one of the methodologies by which folks get heuristics to help them make voting decisions.
At the same time, given that so many of the voters turning out are regular participants in the election process, and that so many are geared up strictly for Obama, there's a very real question as to whether an endorsement from a committee that they aren't closely aligned with will actually induce a straight-ticket vote.
One local pol suggests it's far more likely that any such DCABP mailing wouldn't be sticky very far down the ticket.
If that's the case, the current "conventional wisdom" -- that we'll end up with three incumbents (Heron, Page, Reckhow), newcomer Moffitt, and either Parker/Howerton/Foster for the last slot -- looks likely to hold.
If that's not the case, and the Committee makes an impact? I'd suspect Heron and Moffitt, in that order, to take a hit.