By Matthew L. Higgins

WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — It appears it’s going to take much more than the Drudge Report to kick-start Martin O’Malley’s potential presidential campaign.

A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows that only 11 percent of Democratic primary voters could see themselves supporting the former Maryland governor, while a whopping 67 percent said they don’t know his name. That’s compared to 86 percent of respondents saying they could support Hillary Clinton.

O’Malley has been a favorite topic of the Drudge Report as Clinton deals with scandals relating to her private email address while secretary of state and donations given to the Clinton Foundation. O’Malley even joked about Matt Drudge finding pictures of him playing the guitar in tight t-shirts.

“I’ve been playing in a band since I was in high school. Unfortunately, Matt is finding older pictures,” O’Malley told MSNBC last week.

Political strategist Chris Akins, founder of Akins Strategy, tells CBSDC that O’Malley’s name circulating on the website will help create buzz for him.

“Getting on Drudge gets him lots of buzz among those of us on the right and poke holes in the ‘inevitable’ argument that goes with the name ‘Clinton.’ I’m sure the thought process is that it will cause chaos leading up to and during the primary cycle,” Akins said.

Despite the buzz, Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, believes it will take much more than Drudge to put O’Malley over the top.

“Every little bit helps, I suppose,” Sabato told CBSDC. “But it’ll take a lot more than Drudge to push O’Malley up in the polls.”

Sabato compared O’Malley’s chances at winning the Democratic primary to that of every team in the NCAA tournament.

“Does O’Malley have a shot? Sure. And every basketball team picked by the NCAA has a shot to wear the crown,” Sabato explained. “But there are also heavy favorites, such as the Wildcats and Hillary Clinton. O’Malley would be a fourth seed somewhere.”

Akins believes the best shot O’Malley has a shot at the White House is if Clinton implodes.

“I think Democrats realize Hillary is simply their best shot – right now – at keeping the presidency,” Akins told CBSDC. “But her handling of State Department emails and her lackluster answering of questions regarding her level of income and how she can relate to middle class Americans the Democrats realistically know they’ll need a backup candidate if Clinton continues to implode.”

Akins added that O’Malley would need to tap into “discontent and discomfort” of Americans backing a Clinton campaign.

“While Hillary has had her missteps with her handling of her private email account at the Department of State, she’s still the Democrat front-runner and has a national organization,” Akins said. “O’Malley will have to tape into the discontent and discomfort that is building up and it remains to be seen if that level exists for him to do so.”

O’Malley has stated that he will decide in the spring whether or not to make a run for the White House.


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