A few days ago Joe Mallahan was that business guy who was about to become mayor after spending gobs of his own cash. Kinda Seattle’s version of Michael Bloomberg, but without all that Bloomberg money.
But this morning Mallahan is just that business guy who spent gobs of his own cash. Or as our friend Will pointed out last night, kinda Seattle’s version of Michael Huffington, but without the blowing guys part. (So far as we know.)
And if this seems like I’m predicting a Mike McGinn victory based on a slim one-percent lead with about 60-percent of the ballots still outstanding, well, I guess I am. Not nearly as confidently as I’m predicting an R-71 victory, and certainly not for the same reasons. But if I were Mallahan I’d be preparing to reacquaint myself with obscurity.
My reasoning? First, if the polls can be believed, the undecideds appeared to break in McGinn’s favor during the final week of the campaign, suggesting that late votes will favor McGinn by an even stronger margin than those reported last night, all of which had been received as of 5PM Friday. Second, and perhaps even more important, McGinn appears to have engineered the most impressive, grassroots get out the vote campaign this city has seen in some time.
On the other hand, I’ve heard from the Constantine campaign that they had the sense the late vote was trending a bit more conservative, and that they wouldn’t be surprised to see Hutchison slightly narrow the gap as the votes are tallied, but I’m not sure the same dynamics apply to the mayor’s race, which was widely understood to pit a Democrat against a Democrat. Hutchison may have successfully tagged Constantine a bit with her ridiculous claim that he was responsible for Boeing setting up shop in South Carolina, but that issue simply didn’t play in the McGinn vs. Mallahan contest.
We won’t really know if a trend toward McGinn holds true until after tomorrow’s ballot drop (this afternoon’s drop will largely be from the same batch as yesterday’s), but for the moment at least, I’m sticking with my thesis that McGinn wins.
Yeah, I know, only a fool or a liar would claim to know the outcome of a race this close, but there’s no glory in making a prediction after most of the results are in.