Tuesday, April 09, 2013


For those of you scoring at home, SWAG ="Scientific Wild-Assed Guess"

JWCC Board--It seems most likely that the odd man out will be one of the Quincy candidates. That is a pity because they would both serve well and they are both great guys. Still, where there are two candidates from Quincy and one from the outlying counties, usually one of the Quincy candidates ends up without a musical chair. Since since Jerry h Hagmeier has previous board service and long-standing residency here, I am guessing that my good friend, Rich Marcola is the odd man out and I will be the first urge him to run again.

(I will also urge him to do a little better research on transferability of the colleges credits, which he identified as an issue and which I believe is based upon totally dated information.)

I should also add that whichever two candidates assume the seats, the college will be very well represented.

School Board--Wow, this is anybody's guess. The top three get seats. I suspect the top four will be Ali, Cawthon, McNay and Platt. Platt, Ali and McNay have a higher profile than Cawthon but I suspect a great many Cawthon voters voted for either one or two and did not spread the love around. In talking to people the week before the election, I did not pick up as much closing enthusiasm for Platt as I did for Cawthon. As a consequence,  my best guess for the three seats are:




Park Board – Feldberg goes in based upon the single issue golfer vote. Beyond that is anybody's guess.

Turnout, Quincy Township – when morning broke beautifully, I added a few hundred to my estimate. I'm going with 13,050, a bit higher than the County Clerk estimated. As a general rule, increased turnout in Quincy Township is good for Republicans so I made some "Republican weather" adjustments to my other predictions.

City treasurer –

Crim – 7412

Ernst – 5638

Both of these people are precious friends of mine. When I critique to campaigns, I am not critiquing the people. I am happy to be associated with both of them. That having been said, Tom had an almost impossible task on his hands and he made it harder by running a campaign that can charitably be called "strange." He began by saying that he had no interest in the actual duties of treasurer. He then followed up by assigning himself duties that have nothing to do with the treasurer's office. When most of that, frankly, fell flat, he tried to assign some sort of vicarious blame to the treasurer for some hydropower expenditures. That had no traction so, with no predicate whatsoever, his closing advertisement talks about "12 years of nothing." I guess my feeling on the thing is that, if the Republican Party was going to encourage him to run for the seat, it would've been a good idea to have some veteran campaign operatives help him construct a coherent theme. One redeeming factor for Tom was the way he used his gregarious personality in the debate. I believe the guy could sell air-conditioners that Eskimos. At the end of the day, Tommy had the burden of showing compelling reasons why Peggy should no longer occupy that office. It was a very high bar and he did not get over it. That does not reflect badly on him at all.

Mayor –

Spring 6682

Moore 6368

Once again, the burden of showing that a facially competent incumbent should lose his job is always on the Challenger. Kyle came close to making the showing. The closer, however, a Challenger gets to making that showing, the more important it is for the Challenger to show he has the temperament and maturity to occupy the office himself. At some point, in a local race, the voter closes her eyes and says "Can I see this guy as Mayor?" As a consequence of a cocktail of complex factors, I don't think the people found Kyle to have made that second showing. Some of that is not necessarily Kyle's fault.

As recently as last Thursday, I had this race as much less close then I show here. I had to adjust for increased turnout, a plus for Kyle, and what I believe was a tactical error by the Spring campaign (yes, for those of you scoring at home, I am about the farthest thing that you can imaginefrom an insider in any mayoral race. )

Over the last month, Kyle settled on asserting that the Mayor's failings resulted in his not having a vision. The correlative argument was the mayor didn't have a vision because he had… "Been in office too long…" The mayor responded with a lot of reasonably good stuff, competently presented,  but, like a moth to a porch light, he kept coming back to the word "experience." It seemed incongruous to me to reply to a guy who is saying you've been in office too long by saying, in effect, "I have lots of experience because I've been in office so long." If we can hypothesize at that point that Kyle was down, say,  54% to 46%  I think it is safe to say that this comparative messaging shrunk the mayor's lead a bit.

So, why do I think the comparative messaging does not close the gap all the way for Kyle? There are many reasons but principally three:

Stature: it is utterly unfair but short men simply don't make the same first impression – and remember most  voters are voting on first impressions – as a taller man when doing door-to-door. Kyle did lots of door-to-door but, accordingly to a lot of my non-political visitee friends, did not always make a wonderful impression;

Television advertising: everything has a shelflife. Kyle's "red" TV ad, at best, had a useful shelflife of 2+ weeks. He ran it 6+ weeks. For the last month, in my estimation, he has been paying money to annoy voters. In my casual conversations leading up to the election, that ad has been cited more than any other as the reason, "I just want it to be over…"

Religious demographics: Let's just not beat around the bush here. Kyle is not a Roman Catholic. Mayor Spring is. It's okay to say it out loud. Our city likes its mayors Catholic.

Foolish footnote 1:  One thing that gives me pause.  Two people whom I respect greatly and are usually allies of mine (you know who you are!) are working for and supporting Kyle.  I would feel better about this prediction if that were not so.  On the other hand, one of them is a media whiz and it is obvious the campaign is not following her advise re Television or the "red" ad would have been dead a long time ago.

Foolish Footnote 2:  How strongly do I feel about the accuracy of the Mayoral prediction?  Bet Strength index:

$100.00--in a heartbeat


At 7:08 PM, April 09, 2013, Blogger Becky jansen Coelho said...

Well, you warned us that you weren't that great in predicting election results. But, wow! I think none of us saw this coming. I spoke with your wife this afternoon after voting and I think we were both feeling pretty good about the outcome.

All I can say now, is that we will stand by and see what happens. Let's see what "vision" Mr. Moore has for our city. Let's hope he can work with the city council and they all play nice together. It's going to be interesting.

Good-bye John and good luck in your future endeavors. We'll miss you. God bless.

At 5:45 AM, April 10, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't say "none of us" saw this coming. In fact, I don't think it's surprising at all. IMO, Mr. Spring came across as snide, snarky & condescending during each debate. The icing on the cake was the YP debate when he told a room full of 30-40 year olds that Kyle shouldn't be elected because he is too young. Nail. In. Coffin.

At 6:03 AM, April 10, 2013, Blogger UMRBlog said...

Anon 0545,

I saw nobody predicting a blowout BEFORE the election. Either side winning was no surprise. The extremely low turnout and the order of magnitude of Kyle's victory has to be under the heading of "nobody saw this coming."



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