It’s too bad you can’t gamble in this country on politics. What, are people worried it might make politicians cheat? HAHAHAHA. That was a good one, sorry.
So we’re on the eve of a special election here in Longmont. One thing I’m glad to see is way more people jumping in than usual, whether it’s in the Open Forum of the Times-Call or websites and blogs. Lots going on, lots being said, how will it impact the final result? Again, I don’t mind if I’m wrong on a prediction, and since I already sort of made one earlier about this election, I’ll follow up on it.
I said that Gabe Santos would lose the November election, but win the special election. This was before anyone officially entered this latest race. Now let’s go through what’s different about this race, events that may have shifted things, etc.
Turnout: This is the great unknown and any prediction is tough not knowing how this will go. In November’s election 15,086 people voted for the at-large seat. Special elections tend to not bring out as many voters, at first I figured 80% of November’s turnout. But this cycle has been different, the Times-Call did a large story about this, and maybe the turnout will be about the same after all.
Candidates: In November’s election Santos received 6,319 votes, or 41.9% of the vote. Paul Tiger received 1,758 votes and is not running this time. I can’t see why someone who voted for Santos in November would change it now. Tiger endorsed Richard Juday, not sure how many people caught that, not sure if it matters to Libertarian voters, and not sure if it helps! (Sorry Paul, people like us don’t always help with our endorsements). So I gave 60% of Tigers votes to Juday. To give 100% of Sarah Levison’s votes to Juday though is a stretch and pretty presumptuous.
The DeLay Factor: Zip, nada, zero. The people that hate Tom DeLay probably weren’t going to vote for Santos anyway. The people who already voted for Santo’s or have no problem with DeLay may have been offended by this stretch of “guilt by association”. Even if you spot a couple hundred votes for this, which is a couple hundred too many, doesn’t affect the outcome.
“Attack” Ad: Apparently, some voters (supposedly just Republicans) got a mailer that wasn’t too friendly towards Juday. I seriously thought it was a hoax or someone trying to “punk” Juday and his supporters. But apparently it really went out. Oddly enough a quote supposedly from my website was on it. I can’t remember where I saw that, but I sure didn’t write that quote and it wasn’t ever on my site. Anyway, who does this ad help/hurt? Those that were going to vote for Juday anyway – this only reinforces their feelings, and they probably didn’t receive it anyway, only heard about it. Those that would lean against Juday – this would reinforce them also, and they probably did receive it if it only went out to one party. So, stalemate? I don’t think so.
In today’s Times-Call they talked about voters by party affiliation. Increased Republican turnout (those receiving these ads) is a bad thing for Juday. These may be people that didn’t vote in November, and also probably people that were not happy with Lifebridge’s treatment, courtesy of Juday and his supporters. Many of these people probably don’t want to be Boulder Jr. either. Like this ad or hate it, I don’t remember ever seeing anything quite like it for a Longmont election, and its impact could be huge.
Final Days: Also in today’s paper were some political ads and op-eds by Santos and Juday. Juday’s ad said “Please, before responding to attack material”…visit his website for solid information. His editorial was titled ” Longmont deserves better“, not sure if he titled it or the Times-Call. I know the point was to say elections shouldn’t be so dirty, but the title implies what Longmont has now (in council or anywhere else) sucks. Yeah, voters like hearing that, being blamed for any and all ills. Juday spent much of his piece being on the defensive, not where a candidate wants to be in the final stretch. Add to that voluntarily not accepting donations and returning checks a week before the election? While it may be noble, I guess, signs and advertisements take money. If there’s a perception a candidate is throwing in the towel (not saying he is), most voters want to vote for a winner, not someone who wraps up his campaign before Election Day.
Santo’s editorial was titled ” Longmont‘s community cares” and the contrast between these two messages and these two editorials are worth some votes. Perhaps a lot of votes. I’m sure some detractor can find something to pick apart in Santo’s editorial, but it was fairly positive from start to finish. Let’s just see their last paragraphs, remember, these are sort of the closing arguments, they matter: Juday: “On my website you may see some corrections to distributed misinformation”. Santos: “I’m inspired by what I see, and I wish to give it back. I believe I am the right choice for City Council. I respectfully ask for your vote. If you have already voted for me, please accept my most sincere thank you.” Hey, it was longer, take out a sentence or two to make it even. End result is the same.
Conclusion: Based on the previous election, possible turnout, candidates actions, advertising (good and bad), signage, money, and intangibles, let me throw out this prediction: Santos 7,333 (48.6%) / Juday 6,144 (40.7%) / Baxter 1,509 (10%) / Write-in 100 (0.7%). Knowing that prediction alone could drive a few people to get their voting butts in gear, and knowing I could be all wet on those numbers and outcomes, there it is. Yep, another plurality, not a majority. And if 595 votes swap, different outcome.
I’d like to see some thoughtful prognostication(s?) (in other words, spare the wishful thinking). No one’s prediction should be held against them, unless they turn out to be clairvoyant geniuses! Can’t gamble, but can have bragging rights – until the next election.