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Paul

Wow, there are still people who believe that elections in the city are determined by the votes that are cast? How quaint.

In the last round of election the official response to votes appearing on machines at the opening of polls was that they were left over from testing... the same official explanation that was given when it happened at my polling place in 1984... the same explanation they give in every election cycle when it happens...

You'd think by now they'd start remembering to clear those test votes huh?

Much as I'd like to see DeSantis win, though I no longer have a dog in the fight, the reality is that Ravensthal and the machine have the 100% of the two most crucial voting blocks in the city; the dead and the fictitious.

Cletus the Slack-jawed Yokel (that's what my friend in DC called him after he appeared on Letterman) isn't going anywhere.

Schultz

I am in total agreement with your prediction. A lot of staunch Democrats will stay home on November 6th. Those folks hate Ravenstahl and they refuse to vote for a Republican. According to some sources in DC that performed a poll, voter turnout is going to be much lower than the 2005 general election. I initially estimated 50,000 voters but that might be a stretch as these pools are indicating numbers closer to 40,000. If the voter turn out ends up that low - DeSantis will win in a landslide because the Republicans and reform Democrats will be out in full force to vote for him.


Paul

mmmm, how does the 47 Republicans and 6 reformed minded Democrats the city total a landslide victory in a 40,000 vote race?

I'm just teasing of course.

But seriously does anyone really believe that are that many Democrats who want reform? I spend most of my time arguing with city Democrats who think everything is peachy keen in the city as long as their famly members are still getting jobs with the city and their "juice" with council person they contribute to is still fresh.

I hope I'm wrong, I really do, but I think you're going to end up being stunned by just how many people want to keep things just the way the are and think drunk and disorderly at a Steeler game is a candidate asset.

Schultz

Landslide might be a stretch! In the last general election the Republican and indy's got close to 19,000 votes. The Republican candidate only had $20,000 in funds, while DeSantis probably has 30 to 40 times that amount. The fact that DeSantis has name recognition, actual policy proposals, and a strong resume means he'll get at least 25,000 votes. If turnout is close 60,000 or more I think Luke will pull it out since, like you said, Republicans and Reform Dems are still outnumbered at least 3 to 1.


Matt H

Nooooo way will there be any landslide for DeSantis.

Ed Heath

I dunno, with all the bad publicity for Ravenstahl, the thing seems like it might be up in the air. Voters may stay home or vote for DeSantis. I think DeSantis needs to go negative, maybe just once, if it is covered by the media.

anon

So...

Are there really 5,000 Reform Democrats out there right now who will cross party lines?

Because if there are, here is the math as I see it; h/t to Null Space for the Pittsburgh Party Registration table:

163,485 Registered Dems
- 5,000 Reform Democrats
_______
158,485 @ 20% turnout = 31,697

Consider the 32,667 Registered Republicans @ 40% turnout (a big stretch?) = 13,067

Add them to the 5,000 Reform Democrats and DeSantis is up to 18,067.

There are 25,000 of us misfits registered as "Miscellaneous" or "No Party." Let's say 25% vote and DeSantis gets roughly 5,000 and interim mayor gets 1,500.

DeSantis = 23,000
Interim Mayor = 33,000

DeSantis should prepare for a "Ten Thousand Votes in Ten Days" Campaign.

He only needs to swing 5,000 + 1, but why take chances.

Rich Mathis

What this city needs is a real grass roots revolution. Democrat, Republican? Forget about it; they're two sides of the same dirty, corrupt, slime-riddled coin.

On the other hand, take me: a legitimate write-in candidate with the people's best interests at heart. Who needs expensive campaigns when you've got MySpace and YouTube? Newspapers and radio, beware: Pittsburgh's revolution will be Mathisized...

Schultz

You count of Reform Democrats is way too low. Consider that Michael Lamb and Bill Peduto, both running as reformers, combined for over 27,000 votes in the 2005 Democratic primary. I've talked to a good number of these folks - they are the D's that will be voting for DeSantis. They are also the D's who won't be staying home on election day.

Considering that the Democratic primary has a higher turnout than the general election, I would expect most of those 28,000 Democrats who voted for O'Connor to stick with the party line, but how many of those Democratic loyalists will stay home on election day? That is the deciding factor in this race.

anon

If there really are 27K Reform Democrats who vote then this won't be close, because even with only 20% Republican/Independent turnout DeSantis gets another 10K and beats the interim guy 37K to 27K.

Let's say only 20K cross the line for DeSantis, and the others just stay home. DeSantis still wins in a close one (assuming no voting fraud).

I just don't believe all the Peduto and Lamb voters are going to cross the line.

So how exactly is Bill Peduto, former Cohen aide and machine insider, a reform minded Democrat?

The guy dropped out of the race without so much peep to ensure his place in the hierarchy and his future viability, he's usually right there for all the photo ops at the check presentation ceremonies and plays the game just like the rest of city council. Despite a few outside the box comments now and again and a well crafted image he's exactly what I mean about being surprised how few reform minded Democrats there really are.

So how exactly is Bill Peduto, former Cohen aide and machine insider, a reform minded Democrat?

The guy dropped out of the race without so much peep to ensure his place in the hierarchy and his future viability, he's usually right there for all the photo ops at the check presentation ceremonies and plays the game just like the rest of city council. Despite a few outside the box comments now and again and a well crafted image he's exactly what I mean about being surprised how few reform minded Democrats there really are.

So how exactly is Bill Peduto, former Cohen aide and machine insider, a reform minded Democrat?

The guy dropped out of the race without so much peep to ensure his place in the hierarchy and his future viability, he's usually right there for all the photo ops at the check presentation ceremonies and plays the game just like the rest of city council. Despite a few outside the box comments now and again and a well crafted image he's exactly what I mean about being surprised how few reform minded Democrats there really are.

anon

Whether Peduto is a Reform Democrat is beside the point (I think he is).

At issue is whether the 14,000 people who voted for him in the 2005 primary are going to vote for DeSantis. The only way they vote for him en masse is if they get a wink-wink nudge-nudge re: him declaring his indepedence from the Rethugs after the election.

Can somebody please field a friggin valid poll in this town?

Paul

"Whether Peduto is a Reform Democrat is beside the point"

mmm, I think it does though.

Look if you want to really take a stab at calculating what needs to happen for DeSantis to win you need to be working with a different set of numbers. Start by counting the number of city employees and multiply it by at least 1.5 to come up with the number of people who owe their job and/or family's well being to some member of the city's political machine. Subtract that number from the theoretical votes waiting to be cast and see what needs to happen for a DeSantis victory. If anyone thinks large numbers of Puduto voters are suddenly going to vote for ANY non-Democrat then they really just don't get how the city functions. Whatever reform minded rhetoric Peduto has for his constituents the bottom line he got to where he's at exactly the same way every other member of city government did following the exact same path, and the vast majority people who put him into office are not about to bite the hand that feeds them.

I never cease to be amazed at how many apparently intelligent and educated people in the city don't understand the history and workings of the Tammany Hall-esque machine that lords over city politics... did they learn nothing from the Tom Murphy fire-fighter contract scandal?

The truth is reform is never coming to the city of Pittsburgh through the ballot box. There are simply too many people who depend on keeping things just the way they are to let it happen.

There is only one course that will ever lead to reform and even that has a small chance of succeeding. The state needs to intervene and dissolve the city government completely, once and for all. Then it needs to take steps to make sure another round of council district gerrymandering (or any other measures that allow former city managers gain control of county government) doesn't take place as part of the establishment of the new combined city county government.

Given the degree to which people like Dan Onarato, James Burn and others in county government are entwined in the dirty dealings of the city "leaders" and their billionaire developer patrons I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for any of it to happen.

If it gets very close to election day and there's even a hint DeSantis has a chance you can bet your last dollar every city employee and every member of that employee's family whose registered to vote, even the deceased ones, turns out for Ravensthal even if it means every one of them has to be personally chauffeured by their councilperson to the polls and the hand not attached to the arm being twisted behind their back is held to cast the vote.

If you believe otherwise and think that Bill Peduto won't be driving and twisting arms with the rest of them then you just haven't been paying attention to the last 70 years of city politics.

Paul

"Whether Peduto is a Reform Democrat is beside the point"

mmm, I think it does though.

Look if you want to really take a stab at calculating what needs to happen for DeSantis to win you need to be working with a different set of numbers. Start by counting the number of city employees and multiply it by at least 1.5 to come up with the number of people who owe their job and/or family's well being to some member of the city's political machine. Subtract that number from the theoretical votes waiting to be cast and see what needs to happen for a DeSantis victory. If anyone thinks large numbers of Puduto voters are suddenly going to vote for ANY non-Democrat then they really just don't get how the city functions. Whatever reform minded rhetoric Peduto has for his constituents the bottom line he got to where he's at exactly the same way every other member of city government did following the exact same path, and the vast majority people who put him into office are not about to bite the hand that feeds them.

I never cease to be amazed at how many apparently intelligent and educated people in the city don't understand the history and workings of the Tammany Hall-esque machine that lords over city politics... did they learn nothing from the Tom Murphy fire-fighter contract scandal?

The truth is reform is never coming to the city of Pittsburgh through the ballot box. There are simply too many people who depend on keeping things just the way they are to let it happen.

There is only one course that will ever lead to reform and even that has a small chance of succeeding. The state needs to intervene and dissolve the city government completely, once and for all. Then it needs to take steps to make sure another round of council district gerrymandering (or any other measures that allow former city managers gain control of county government) doesn't take place as part of the establishment of the new combined city county government.

Given the degree to which people like Dan Onarato, James Burn and others in county government are entwined in the dirty dealings of the city "leaders" and their billionaire developer patrons I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for any of it to happen.

If it gets very close to election day and there's even a hint DeSantis has a chance you can bet your last dollar every city employee and every member of that employee's family whose registered to vote, even the deceased ones, turns out for Ravensthal even if it means every one of them has to be personally chauffeured by their councilperson to the polls and the hand not attached to the arm being twisted behind their back is held to cast the vote.

If you believe otherwise and think that Bill Peduto won't be driving and twisting arms with the rest of them then you just haven't been paying attention to the last 70 years of city politics.

CB

Since I was invoked a bit.. I'm not sure the use of the the registration numbers above makes sense, but the result is about the same. Here is the overly simplified breakout of how the city actually votes. 25-30% will be minority votes, 40% will be the older non-minority votes. Remainder (30-35%) is probably split relatively evenly between a core Republican group and half made up of everybody else. Older voters are relatively consistent in their turnout no matter... even the city minority vote will come out. high or low turnout will be mostly determined from that third piece that is such a mixed bag. So if you think MD (or anyone for that matter) will win a city race have to fit that into how those major groups will vote.

So CS may be right.. but I swear I keep being reminded of an oped written by Charles Murray, author of the Bell Curve for those who may recall, for the Wall Street Journal 15 or so years ago. I may have this off a bit, but as I recall he pointed out that if you picked a list of your dozen closest friends and noted their education levels. If most of them had bachelor's degree, the probability that they they represented a cross section of the US was effectively zero. It was an exercise to show how self-selected our social groupings are. I just wonder how many people making statements projecting the fall election are taking into this into account. Consider that if the people you talk to most are young (which in local political terms means under 60 or so), white and college educated or enrolled, you really only have a feel for a fifth of the local voters who will turn out in any given election. and that is probably erring on the high side. Think about that.

Sam M

Please. Plug your ears and scream "La la la la!"

DeSantis in a landslide!

DeSantis in a landslide!

Our only hope is to create such an aura of inevitability that that most of the regular voters stay home. In addition, we will need numerous miracles and such.

Schultz

CB,

I get what you're saying, but my take on the election outcome isn't based on what my friends and fellow bloggers think. I've talked to minorities throughout the city - in the north, south, and eastern neighborhoods who have been intrigued by Mark DeSantis and some of his proposals. I don't necessarily think that DeSantis will win the majority of the votes from the minority groups, but I think that he will have a strong showing nonetheless. I think the older voters will be split between the two candidates, and I think that most of the young professionals will vote for DeSantis.

CB

Calling for Nate Harper to be fired didn’t exactly help that cause you realize. More than a few people livid over that and will likely push up AA turnout over what it might have been. You may be right, but I would point out that it would be completely unprecedented for a local general election. As I recall, even Jim Roddey had some public support from a few African American leaders in town. That and the year Roddey won the county was probably the year there was the most anti-Democratic party sentiment in the AA community because of the Dawida comments in the primary. Yet even with all of that Roddey didn’t make a dent in getting the minority vote (if you doubt that an iota see see page 16 of http://www.briem.com/votingpatterns.pdf). So you are pretty much predicting MD is going to do something Roddey didn’t even begin to do. Roddey of course beat Cyril Wecht who had just won a divisive primary and who (thanks to Tube City Online for pointing out) actually has had a blog of his own for some time… who knew? See http://www.cyrilwecht.com/)

Patrick

Give me a break. I went through this crap when Jim Roddey when he ran and won.
I'm going to change the city everyone wants change. Then after he wins NOTHING.
What has Mark DeSantis ever done, Help George Bush WELL lets all drop dead he's great then!!!!!!!
Vote Democratic and leave this crap in the streets where it belongs.

improve golf swing

i do agree with the predictions.

cigarette smoking fetish

There are simply too many people who depend on keeping things just the way they are to let it happen.

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