Q&A #4: Mayoral Prelim

 "FedUpWithFinneran" asks:

OK, David.  Say the mayor's race is Menino, Flaherty, Yoon, and McCrea.  Which two advance to the final and why?

If I have to guess now, I say Menino and Flaherty.

For those who don't know, the city will vote in a September preliminary among all the mayoral candidates. The top two then face off on the November ballot.

Let's assume, until proven otherwise, that McCrea will overshoot expectations if he succeeds in getting local media to spell his name correctly in stories about the preliminary.

Let's also assume, until proven otherwise, that when 70% of the city say they would vote for Menino, at least half of them mean it.

So, who gets through to face Menino in November? I think Flaherty starts with the broader base, a better familiarity with the city, and the more sophisticated and financed campaign plan. Yoon is the more compelling figure for change.

Flaherty will likely run a very sharp-elbowed campaign criticizing Menino, which will hurt them both; Yoon can benefit from that while keeping relatively clean hands.

Flaherty's supporters are likelier preliminary voters; but if a high-profile campaign brings a surge in turnout, Yoon could benefit.

The big question: will Flaherty and Yoon avoid turning on each other, knowing that whoever survives the preliminary will need the other's votes in November? Or will the prelim inevitably turn the two against each other, to Menino's delight?

As I said, right now I'd say Menino and Flaherty, but with a low degree of confidence.

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