Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Prophet predicts

In early March, the Wash Park Prophet predicted victories for Chris Nevitt in Council District 7, Darrell Watson in CD8, and Stephanie O'Malley for Clerk and Recorder. He had no prediction for CD3, and anticipated incumbents would win without a runoff in all other races.

He added to those predictions today, indicating the likelihood of Shelly Watters getting into a CD7 runoff, Carla Madison making the CD8 runoff, and Paul Lopez facing down Ben Romero in a CD3 runoff.

The Prophet's predicted winners all have one thing in common: they are the financial frontrunners in their race. Furthermore, his predicted runners-up all have the second largest coffers. And the races he anticipates to avoid a runoff all have enormous financial divides between the frontrunner and any challengers.

We understand that the "money primary" represents votes - and the opportunity to get more votes. Those facts lead toward the obvious conclusion: candidates with the most money normally win. Nevertheless, simply following the money line doesn't strike us as a terribly inspired "prediction."

But it does lead us to wonder... does the Prophet moonlight as an Accountant?


Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

Not so far from the mark. My day job is as a lawyer who frequently handles tax matters, and I do litigate accounting irregularities.

Also, FWIW, while the top dollars are notable, far more significant is a lack of any significant fundraising by a candidate, for example, in Council District 8 in the case of two candidates. Someone who does negligable fund raising isn't taking a campaign seriously.

The front runner doesn't have to be the person with the top dollar, and certainly money wasn't my sole criterion. I picked Nevitt and Watson as likely winners the first time, long before any campaign finance reports came out, because I knew that they had campaigns that were well organized and started early. I also picked early the two most likely runners up in each of those races and guessed that it was likely that each would go to a runoff before having fundraising numbers. The big fundraising gaps between #2 and #3 in each race was important, but that was the main impact in CD 7 and CD 8.

The fact that all but two candidates have raised almost nothing in CD 3 does bode ill for their chances at the election. The prediction that the two who are fundraising will be the top two is far more definitive than that the biggest money raiser will win.

Dave Burrell said...

Well said.