Just in time for tomorrow's election, a set of predictions that will be totally meaningless at about 8:01 tomorrow night, if not sooner. Enjoy.
First, a few notes:
I'm not even gonna try to guess the School Committee races (like I should be tackling any of these, but whatever). It's not that I don't know the candidates, but I have no idea who's winning these things. Hard to get a sense of what the public is thinking on those.
Second, these aren't my favorites or even people who I'm voting for in a bunch of cases. They're just my predictions on who's going to win.
Actually, I think there's a chance it could be even lower.
I hear you saying, "Moron, 5,500 came out for the preliminary. You're an idiot." Yes, I am, but I'm an idiot who thinks the mayoral candidates in the preliminary pretty much maximized turnout. I don't think there too many more voters who are going to come out for down-ballot races, and I don't think the mayor's race is capturing a lot of new attention. So, there you go. I hope I'm surprised. And really, I probably should have learned my turnout lesson from the preliminary, but sometimes I need to be taught things twice.MayorWinner:
Simply, the math tells us so. After blowing out opponent Tom Donnelly by 2,200 votes, Wong started the general election in the driver's seat, and she's done nothing to let go of the wheel.
Here's Donnelly's perfect storm: Wong voters are complacent after the big win, and don't show up. Homeowners revolt on the tax issue. The weather is absolutely terrible, and only real die-hard voters show up tomorrow (assuming, still, that he still owns the old-school crowd). You'd think Wong would be aware of the first, the tax issue doesn't seem to be polarizing (more on that in a minute), and the first part of the day should be rainy and cold, although getting better after noon, according to weather.com
Donnelly has tried to bring it on home with the tax issue, but it's tough for him to get clear ground on this issue. Mostly, it's the fact that he voted consistently for the full 2.5 percent increases, and says now 2.5 percent is vital for the city. He's right, but it's tough to be the tax hard-liner when you support the full increase. Also, Wong says she'll make up any losses in rolling increases to 2.25 percent by bringing in new business. She says it so matter-of-factly, you just assume this is going to happen. Bringing in business to cover a $70,000 in property taxes (or $83,000 or $100,000), however, is no small thing. This is a fundamental part of the Wong candidacy: Bringing in new business. She's going to find some early success on that if she's mayor. Everything hinges on that, and it's easier said than done.
Second, I started coming around this morning on Wong's defensive/angry counter last Thursday. And here's why: She's 28 years old. Did any part of that performance come off as young, not ready for the situation, or intimidated? No. Never once in this campaign has Wong acted her age. It's really kind of amazing. And Thursday was part of that. She could have dismissed it or shrunk from the charges, but she responded forcefully. It took me four days to get here, but here I am.
Give Donnelly credit, despite the big task in front of him, he didn't quit, either through effort or dollars (that Weekend Mailer isn't cheap, y'all). He has driven hard to the end, but he came around the last turn with just too much ground to make up. His campaign has been talking up a late charge for the last few weeks now, but it needs the late charge to end all late charges. So, Wong's the prediction.At-Large CouncilWinners
(in order, yes, I'm that bold): Dean Tran, Thomas Conry, Stephan Hay, Marcus DiNatale, Jay Cruz.Why:
Well, everyone likes Tran. He might not be everyone's top choice, but he seems like he's on everyone's top two or three or four. That's how you finish first in these things. Conry should be very strong. He might get caught by Hay and finish third to Hay's second, but for now, this seems about right.
I think DiNatale finds a way in. First, his name recognition will help. To say it doesn't is just silly. He's run a pretty good campaign, most notably an impressive performance in last week's debate. He might finish fifth instead of fourth -- maybe even third -- I think he's in the mix somewhere.
Cruz is a bit of a gamble in that fifth spot. He made a lot of waves with the dispatcher-police officer business, and turned off a lot of insiders. It wasn't his best moment. But it was a proactive moment, for better or worse. Also, based on the preliminary results, the electorate is looking for some change, and Cruz offers more change than some others on the ballot.
If Cruz is out, Annie DeMartino takes that spot. It's going to be close for DeMartino either way, like it was in 2005. But at the end of the day, I think voters are itching for change, and DeMartino gets lost in that wash a little bit. It's tough keeping her out of the top five, but there you go (Rachel, you may proceed with your launch sequence).
Rosemary Reynolds is in a similar position as DeMartino, but she's a non-incumbent former councilor looking for a way on. Considering, really, only spots four and five are probably in play, it's a tough nut to crack.
I really like Shaun Cormier a lot. He's a good guy who has worked hard and paid attention and probably deserves a better fate. But it's a tough, deep field, and he's going to probably have to take the loss. Hopefully he returns in two years. He and Patricia Carbone are two newcomers up against seven people who either are in office or have been in the past. Tough, tough nut to crack. If one of them end up top 5, it's the upset of the night.Ward 1Winner:
Simply, Clark has put on a clinic in the last two years on how to be a ward councilor. Kevin Maynard wants his seat back, but Clark has given Ward 1 voters little reason -- perhaps no reason -- to vote against him.Ward 4Winner:
Starr and Steve Seney are locked in a pretty good battle in Ward 4 to take over for Ted DeSalvatore. This is a pretty tight race, but Starr gets the nod, if only because of the late news of Seney's business dealings and court dates, which have probably given voters pause right at the end.Ward 5Winner:
Heads (or, Peter Allaire)Why:
Another tough one to figure, but I'm going with Allaire, and it might as well have been a coin toss. Honestly, no rhyme or reason for that one.School Committee
Aw, hell with it. Here's two uninformed guesses. Why not at this point? Glenn Capone, Sally Cragin and John Chittick
for the four-year seats. Although Bruce Marien might finish in front of Chittick. Why? Capone is a solid incumbent, Cragin is closely tied to Wong and her tidal wave, and Chittick has been running hard. I'll say James Reynolds
for the two-year seat, but if you said Peter Stephens, I wouldn't argue.
There you go. Let's see how bad these are come tomorrow night. I'm guessing pretty bad.
Labels: bad predictions, City Council, Donnelly, election, School Committee, Wong