I’d heard from a couple woeful Greg Nickels supporters this week who hadn’t bothered to vote in Tuesday’s primary election, figuring the incumbent mayor was a shoe-in for the general… but you know, one always hears stories like this, so I hadn’t given it much thought. But yesterday I heard from a Nickels volunteer who told me a story that gave me pause.
The volunteer (anonymous to you, but well known to me) had been working the phone banks over the last couple days of the campaign, encouraging likely Nickels supporters to mail in their ballots, and he talked to “at least a dozen” voters who said they planned to vote for Nickels in November but were intending to game the primary by voting for who they perceived to be the weakest opponent (usually, but not always, Mike McGinn). The assumption was that Nickels was a shoe-in to make it through to the general, and so they could afford to divert their vote to game the system.
Of course, this anecdote is merely, um, anecdotal, so unless I hear from other phone bank volunteers who report similar conversations with voters, I’ll have to leave it at that. But it does make me wonder how complacent Nickels supporters might have been, and if the broader public had understood that the mayor might really come in third to Mallahan and McGinn, whether he really would have come in third at all?
Speculation, sure. But that’s a lot of what I do.