Zephyr raised a couple million dollars — amazingly — in contributions averaging $19. Then a couple billionaires spent millions in attack ads at the end of the cycle. We know from psychology that the attack ads will work — against almost anyone. And when the district was flooded with them, all the good she had done got quickly swamped.
Also, there is a critical dimension of feasibility that affects the attractiveness of any reformer’s campaign: One may agree with a candidate’s support for reform, but that’s not relevant if one doesn’t believe it possible to enact reform.