Thursday, April 09, 2009

Handicapping The May 5th Anchorage 2009 Mayoral Runoff Race: Dan Sullivan Should Prevail Over Eric Croft 55 Percent To 45 Percent

Update May 5th: Dan Sullivan wins runoff election, updated post HERE.

Back on April 2nd, 2009, when I discussed Dave Dittman's most recent pre-election poll, I used his numbers to project the outcome of a May 5th runoff election between Dan Sullivan and Eric Croft, who I correctly believed would be the top two finishers. I projected that Sullivan would defeat Croft in a runoff, 54 percent to 46 percent. Although Sullivan is less than 2 percent shy of the total needed to avoid a runoff, the remaining 3,000 votes, to be counted on April 17-18, are unlikely to push him up to the 45 percent threshold.

So now that we have general election numbers in, I'm repeating the process. We start off with the newest actual numbers (now based upon 120 precincts rather than 119) for the top six mayoral finishers individually:

-- Dan Sullivan: 43.45 percent, rounded to 43
-- Eric Croft: 19.61 percent, rounded to 19
-- Sheila Selkregg: 16.22 percent, rounded to 16
-- Walt Monegan: 8.73 percent, rounded to 9
-- Matt Claman: 5.72 percent, rounded to 6
-- Paul Honeman: 4.54 percent, rounded to 5
-- Nine secondary candidates: About 1.5 percent combined

Here's a rough breakdown on the possible migration of votes in the runoff election. Note that this is unscientific, primarily driven by gut feel and precedence:

Dan Sullivan: Starts out with his 43 percent.
Eric Croft: Starts out with his 19 percent.
Sheila Selkregg: As one of the most progressive candidates, her supporters will overwhelmingly support Croft. Of her 16 percent, 14 goes to Croft, two to Sullivan. Selkregg has now publicly endorsed Croft.
Matt Claman: As another of the most progressive candidates, his supporters will migrate to Croft. Of his 6 percent, 5 goes to Croft, one to Sullivan. Claman has publicly endorsed Croft.
Paul Honeman: Most of his supporters likely to migrate to Sullivan; 4 percent to Sullivan, one percent to Croft. Honeman has not publicly endorsed either candidate.
Walt Monegan: A wild card. I'd say of his 9 percent, 6 percent to Croft, 3 percent to Sullivan. Monegan will not endorse either candidate.
Nine secondary candidates: More likely to support Croft, except for Billy Ray Powers' constituency.

And when I add up the totals, I get 55 percent for Sullivan, and 45 percent for Croft.

Perhaps this explains why Eric Croft, beginning on election night itself, decided to adopt a harder-edged campaign style. During the KTUU interview, Croft immediately took a shot at Sullivan's sales tax idea, claiming that it would let "rich" property owners skate. He also contrasted himself as a prosecutor with Sullivan's standing as a bar owner to paint a subtle and distorted portrait of himself (Croft) as being of superior virtue. But during the campaign itself, Croft has consistently claimed that Sullivan's sales tax numbers don’t add up, even though he (Croft) has yet to specify what the numbers need to be. While Sullivan favors replacing property taxes with sales taxes, he recognizes that such a proposal would not pass muster, and so he's willing to go for a dollar-for-dollar reduction instead.

In contrast, Dan Sullivan has maintained the high road, and specifically reached out to supporters of all other defeated candidates on election night, including the so-called nine "secondary candidates". He even specifically lauded Billy Ray Powers as the one secondary candidate who attempted to grapple with all the issues during his campaign, rather than being a single-issue candidate.

So the choice in the May 5th runoff election is shaping up to be the politics of division, promoted by Eric Croft, vs. the politics of inclusion, promoted by Dan Sullivan. More information about the May 5th election at the Municipality of Anchorage's website, and more information about the two candidates at the links posted below:

-- Dan Sullivan:
---- Official campaign website HERE.
---- December 2007 press release outlining his vision HERE.
---- KTUU Channel 2 profile with video HERE.
---- Anchorage Press profile on Sullivan HERE.
---- KSKA Interview accessible HERE.
-- Eric Croft:
---- Official campaign website HERE.
---- Myspace website HERE.
---- KTUU Channel 2 profile with video HERE.
---- Anchorage Press profile on Croft HERE.
---- Alaska Dispatch profile on Croft HERE.
---- KSKA Interview accessible HERE.
---- List of individual contributors to Croft's campaign (3-7 thru 3-28) HERE.

No comments:

Post a Comment