Am I finished?

Somebody hacked my computer and my email and sent a post to Fox & Hounds Daily a couple weeks back after Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher announced he was leaving the Republican Party.

Headlined, “Is Fletcher Finished?” the post made the case that he probably was, calling the video departure from the GOP a “political suicide.”

I’d really like to strangle the guy who wrote that (it couldn’t be me, because I swear I have no recollection of it). Particularly now that new polling shows that Fletcher gained after the announcement. Once a distant third in the San Diego mayor’s race, he’s moved up to second, and is only slightly trailing the frontrunner.

And yes, I still have doubts – though not as many as the author of that old post – about the long-term political wisdom of that decision, given the fact that we decline-to-state voters don’t show up at the polls at near the same rate as partisans.

But right now that doesn’t matter. Fletcher has given his campaign new life by jumping into the center. This may have less to do with non-partisanship than with the stream of positive publicity the move drew. That publicity gave Fletcher an opportunity to reintroduce himself to voters, and become better known. And that opportunity was helpful because he has a strong, appealing personal story.

The odds are still against him winning, but it looks like a game changer. Well played, Nathan.