Why So Quiet?
There's an election in six days, and the buzz on all things political is way, way down. Why?
Here's some reasons:
The Red Sox won the World Series. The last two weeks of baseball have most certainly taken away attention from just about everything else. Not only is it the only thing everyone is talking about, but after a bunch of late, late nights, people aren't really ambitious with other things right now. That is over, obviously, but don't underestimate the distraction the Sox caused.
The mayor's race is over. While that might not necessarily be the case, most people think that way. And considering how much has been said about both candidates up to this point, people might be moving on, on this one. Here's a question: Will the preliminary turnout be higher than the general election? Probably not, but consider: There are probably some fringish Wong and Donnelly voters who won't show, because of the general feeling the race is over. How many DeSalvatore voters are inspired enough to vote for somebody else? Similarly, could this be closer than people expect (the general concensus is Wong in the mid- to high-60s)? Let's say the Wong voters get a little lazy -- not a ridiculous idea considering the preliminary blowout. Let's say Donnelly's team generates some more votes. Will be it be close? I don't know, but the point is Wong needs to keep her base motivated over the last six days and not let the big numbers slow things down.
There' s zero excitement in the City Council races. The ward races are interesting: Allaire and Solomito are two solid options in Ward 5. Kevin Starr and Steve Seney are evenly-matched in Ward 4. Dave Clark is fending off the former Ward 1 councilor Kevin Maynard. The at-large race offers a deep field with four incumbents, a ward councilor looking to make the leap to at-large, a former city councilor looking to return, and a School Committee member on the ballot.
Why does no one care?
For starters, few of the candidates have generated much emotion or excitement. I think most people like Dean Tran very much, and I think he cruises into the top two or so next week. But beyond Tran, there are few councilors that most people naturally gravitate toward. I think, from what I hear, that Conry and Hay are in. A lot of folks are still livid at Jay Cruz, mostly on the dispatcher issue, and wonder if he has the goods. Annie DeMartino is considered -- as seemingly always -- on the bubble.
The field is deep, but lacks energy and drama. Getting a handle on nine candidates is a bit difficult, leading to more voter disinterest -- sometimes the big chores get neglected. This is an important race, and one that will go as far in shaping the future the city as the mayor's race, but it has created zero interest.
So, if you're up for it, discuss here. Why is interest so thin? Hell, who's going to win? I'm guessing it's going to be fairly quiet. It's going to be a weird year where the preliminary is the star and the general election plays backup. Just weird.