Let’s start thing out, seven days out, with a little City Council SAB, District 5 style:
Candidate Jon Blumenthal and Scrubs actor, Zach Braff:
Seven days left as things get frenetic in the campaign corridors.
Lotsa ads. Lotsa mail. Lotsa door to door.
Suttle has more Cash On Hand going into the final week, but…what does that extra cash do for you if you don’t make it into the final two? If he is saving it, does that indicate that he is confident…or foolhardy?
Vokal is much lower in all three columns, but is it enough to get him through the Primary? And if he does get through, is it a whole new money-raising ball game? One would think so. But he has to get past Tuesday first.
April 7th has the potential to be a long night.
Some interesting dynamics are at stake for Tuesday. For one, Primary turnout, at least in the last two city-wide elections, has been significantly lower than the General.
In 2001, Primary v.s General turnout was 25% to 45%. In 2005 it was 16% to 25%. However, note that in neither of those Mayoral Primaries were there more than two candidates — so voters didn’t have any real reason to hustle to the polls, unless there was a contested City Council Primary.
In 2001 there were several heavily contested Council Primaries, but the real battle was the knockdown-dragout between Mike Fahey and Hal Daub that came down to around a thousand votes in the General.
But this year’s Primary will be a bit different, and that could have unusual effects.
With the Mayor’s race between a big three, that should bring out the hard-core voters without any problem.
But the rest? With mainly head to head match-ups, would voters who don’t care which Mayoral candidates make it to the general (or maybe if they believe the CW that Hal Daub is way ahead), not bother turning out?
Voting history (generally) says, that if there is a two-person race, the candidate who wins the primary wins the general.
So you look at three potentially close races:
Frank Brown vs. Ben Gray
Jean Stothert vs. Jon Blumenthal
Franklin Thompson vs. Walt Peffer
Pick the winner next Tuesday and in all likelihood, you’ve picked your winner for the general.
Jim Vokal’s 2005 hotly contested race with Anne Boyle was a good indicator. Though Vokal was an incumbent, he was Republican running in a Democrat district, against an opponent with high name ID.
The Primary was 51.59% – 47.88% Vokal.
And the General was…51.99% – 47.46% Vokal.
(Chuck Sigerson’s 2001 race, where he won 57% and 52% in the Primary and General, shows that as well.)
If you’re coming in second in a three or more-way primary, you’ve still got hope, and maybe even a good chance — note for District 3 candidates.
But in the others? Unless it’s razor thin, you better win in Tuesday’s primary.
We’re not saying it’s over. But you’ve got lots and lots of ground to make up.
The Weird Harold is back.
The World Herald is what?
Check out WeirdHarold.com. You’ll get several chuckles.