Feb
12
2014

What can we conclude from the #sdmayor race?

As noted already, San Diego’s mayoral election was last night: and Republican Kevin Faulconer pretty much walked over Democratic David Alvarez, 55-45.  There are, I think, three things to take away from this:

  • Last-minute swooping in did nothing.  To paraphrase somebody or other, the days where we could safely discount Barack Obama’s ability to move the needle for a candidate are certainly coming to a middle. I suspect that the President was looking for an easy win, which is why the aforementioned swooping.  Alas…
  • Big Labor ain’t what it used to be. They kind of wanted this election.  I’m not exactly sure why, but I assume that the labor movement had a reason for pouring millions of dollars down a sinkhole. I think that they did both themselves and the President a disservice here, though: they both wasted a lot of money, and convinced President Obama to jump into a contest that he should have stayed away from. Because…
  • I suspect that we – Left, Right, Center, Beyond Pluto – over-complicate things, sometimes.  There was a good bit written about this race; about national meanings, outside money, inside money, demographics as destiny, the role of ideological activists in determining party nominees, all that good stuff.  What was possibly not discussed enough was that Bob Filner was a Democrat driven from office by a sex scandal; that Republicans can and do win the mayor’s office with some regularity; and that Faulconer dominated a the first multi-candidate round of elections with 42% of the vote.  That last part is pretty important: if I had known that, I would have called the election at 11:30 PM Eastern Time last night and gone to bed.

Lastly, here’s the moral of the day, folks: elections still exist because pundits are horrible at predicting the future, and not always all that great at predicting the present.  The group consensus on the San Diego mayor’s election was that it was going to be close.  It was never close. In retrospect, we shouldn’t have assumed that it was going to be close.

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