Analysis: And the winners of the Cincinnati mayoral election are … Don’t ask

Since 1974, the year I started reporting on politics, I have been asked the same question over and over again on the day before an election:

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 that’s not the answer they were looking for.

My middle name is not Nostradamus. Somebody has still mistaken me for Carnac the Magnificent.

If I had these powers, I would likely open an age and weight guessing booth at the county fair.

So, if you’re looking for someone who can predict which of the six candidates for Mayor of Cincinnati will finish at the top on Tuesday and compete in November’s elections, you’ve come to the wrong.

RELATED: A Voter Handbook for the 2021 Cincinnati Mayoral Election

I will not do it; and you can’t make me do it

But I’ll tell you: I believe, as I did at the beginning of the campaign, that there are two levels of candidates – a well-known top level and an extremely extensive lower level.

The top tier consists of Councilor David Mann, a former mayor and congressman who is in his sixth decade on Cincinnati politics; State Senator Cecil Thomas, former Cincinnati Police Officer and member of the City Council; and Aftab Pureval, the current Hamilton County’s court clerk and unsuccessful 2018 Congressional candidate.

Kreditmann, Jan Hanselman; other courtesy

From left: David Mann; Aftab Pureval; Cecil Thomas.

I suspect a fourth candidate – one who was completely unknown at the beginning of his election campaign – is quietly climbing the ladder. He is Gavi Begtrup, a physicist and entrepreneur who, like a racehorse, is very likely to drive the last quarter mile up the track.

The other two, Democrat Raffel Prophett and Independent Herman Najoli, are likely to be rans as well.

Gavi Begtrup Herman Najoli raffles Prophet

Credit courtesy of the candidate

From left: Gavi Begtrup; Herman Najoli; Raffel Prophet.

Contrary to what some say, this is likely a low turnout election.

Did I mention that Tuesday it will likely rain for most of the day in southwest Ohio?

It will likely be a relatively low turnout even with Issue 3 on the ballot, the constitutional amendment that would require the city to invest $ 50 million a year in an affordable housing trust fund. Progressive guys – Democrats and Independents – can be motivated to come out and vote for Issue 3. My guess is that many of the 20-25% of city voters who are Republicans will vote against.

RELATED: Understanding Problem 3

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 support 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 supporting him, ”said Luken. “David has been in politics for a long time and his integrity has never been questioned. He’s the guy with the most leadership experience, and that’s what we need now. “

RELATED: Can Democrat David Mann Succeed In Mayoral By Courting GOP Voters?

One of Luke’s former mayoral colleagues, Democrat Mark Mallory, more formally endorsed Pureval over the weekend.

Mallory told me that when he was elected in 2005 his 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 come across most often here is, ‘Throw them all out’. Well, Aftab is a fresh face with new ideas.”

Tuesday night we will find out how much weight high-profile endorsements and brand awareness are.

And I’ll be here waiting for someone to ask me a new question:

Who will be the top two?

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