Mayor’s Race Takes Me Back to 7th Grade
Politics & Media Mashup
We’re 10 days out from Election Day and here is what we know about the San Diego mayoral race:
- Carl DeMaio is in.
- The second spot looks like it’s going to go down to the wire. Bob Filner is carrying a slight edge over Nathan Fletcher.
- Trailing behind is Bonnie Dumanis, but she’s not going down without a fight.
Two separate sources I trust told me this week some of the latest polling numbers show DeMaio in the high 20s/low 30s; Filner in the low 20s and Fletcher in the high teens.
I think Fletcher peaked a couple weeks ago, and the attack ads from the far left and far right – to borrow a phrase from Team Fletcher – are influencing some voters.
DeMaio’s base – conservatives who tend to vote in primaries – aren’t moving. If Fletcher moves on after June 5 it’s because he successfully pulled from the middle and the left.
DeMaio has run the best campaign. Does that surprise anyone? He’s been planning this for years and he works harder than any politician I know. Anything can happen, of course, but I don’t see him losing the lead down the home stretch.
“DeMaio is so slick even some of my lefty friends plan to vote for him,” a local media guy told me yesterday.
Fletcher likes to call DeMaio the most divisive figure at City Hall, and it’s no secret he burns too bright for some people, but a lot of people see DeMaio as someone with good ideas who is a fiscal hawk and anti-establishment.
Mayor Jerry Sanders is not one of those people. The mayor, who is backing Dumanis but has been relatively silent in this race, ticked off a couple Genuine Jerry one liners about DeMaio at a press conference this week that Team Fletcher quickly rolled into a 30-second TV ad. I’m waiting for the t-shirts.
If Filner had run any sort of campaign would we even be talking about Fletcher? Filner thought he would have the second spot sewed up because he is the only Democrat running in the race. So he sat back and watched his three opponents campaign. That worked until Fletcher dumped the Republican Party and went indie.
Several longtime local politicos told me a year or so ago that Filner would match DeMaio’s tenaciousness on the campaign trail. I’m still waiting for that.
I haven’t watched a ton of debate footage but what I have seen has left me with the following impressions:
- DeMaio looks and sounds mayoral and his points are appealing.
- Dumanis has trouble matching the energy and charisma of DeMaio and Fletcher, but she sounds strong lately.
- Fletcher looks and sounds like someone a majority of San Diegans can support.
For a variety of reasons, including the fact that I have friends working for three of the four mayoral candidates, I haven’t supported anyone in this race, but it sure has been fun to watch.
I’ve enjoyed discussing the race with people outside the bubble – just about everyone in San Diego.
Among those people I’ve seen a lot of support for DeMaio and Fletcher, but most of my friends know next to nothing about any of the candidates.
These conversations always take me back to the 7th grade. Art class, I think. We were voting for student council. My first political experience.
In the week or so leading up to the vote, signs were made, speeches were given, campaigns were waged.
In the end, none of it mattered. The favorite – the kid with the good looks and an army of friends – won.
On June 5, some San Diegans will vote for the candidate who they believe will best serve the city. Many more will just vote for the one they like.