Every year since 1974, the year I started reporting on politics, the day before an election I have been asking the same questions:
So who will win?
And in each of those 48 years my answer was always the same:
The person who gets the most votes.
Usually they go away and quietly curse me. Apparently this is not the answer they were looking for.
My middle name is not Nostradamus. Nobody has ever mistaken me for Carnac the Magnificent.
If I had those powers, I would probably be opening a booth for Guess Your Age and Weight on the County Fair Circuit.
So if you’re looking for someone to predict which of the six candidates for Mayor of Cincinnati on Tuesday will come first and face each other in the November election, you’ve come to the wrong place.
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I will not do it; and you can’t make me
However, I will tell you this – I believe, as I did at the beginning of the campaign, that there are two tiers of candidates – a known upper tier and an extremely long lower tier.
The top tier consists of Councilor David Mann, a former mayor and one-year-old Congressman who is in his sixth decade of Cincinnati politics. State Senator Cecil Thomas, former Cincinnati police officer and city council member; and Aftab Pureval, the current Hamilton County’s court clerk and unsuccessful 2018 Congressional candidate.
I suspect a fourth candidate – one who was completely unknown at the start of his campaign – is quietly climbing the ladder. He is Gavi Begtrup, a physicist and entrepreneur who is like a racehorse with long chances of winning moving up the track in the final quarter mile.
The other two, Democrat Raffel Prophett and Independent Herman Najoli, are likely Rans as well.
Despite what some say, this is likely a low turnout election.
Did I mention that in southwest Ohio, it will likely rain for most of the day on Tuesday?
Even with Issue 3 on the ballot, the constitutional amendment that would require the city to invest $ 50 million annually in an affordable housing trust fund, voter turnout is likely to be relatively low. Progressive guys – Democrats and Independents – might be motivated to vote for Issue 3. I suspect that many of the 20-25% of the city voters who are Republicans will come out to vote against.
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And while they’re at it, these Republicans will likely vote for man because there is no Republican mayoral candidate on the ballot and they see Mann as the most bearable of the six.
Mann received the approval of a former Democratic mayor, Charlie Luken, over the weekend.
Luken told me it was a coincidence; He hadn’t planned a big announcement, but when an Enquirer reporter called and asked who he would vote, he said man he worked with on the council.
“David called me; he didn’t even know I was going to support him,” said Luken. “David has been in politics a long time and his integrity has never been questioned.” He is the one with the greatest experience in guiding what we need right now. “
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One of Luken’s former mayors, Democrat Mark Mallory, more formally endorsed Pureval over the weekend.
Mallory told me that when he was elected in 2005, the theme was about being the town hall’s underdog who could end the “chaos” on the town council.
“Aftab is that candidate this year; he wasn’t part of the mayhem in town hall,” Mallory said. “I speak to the voters out there and what I do most of the time here is,” Throw them all out. “Aftab is a fresh face with new ideas.”
Tuesday evening we will find out the importance of high profile endorsements and name recognition.
And I’ll be waiting here for someone to ask me a new question:
So who will be the top two finishers?
Read more “Politically speaking” here.