Slog - The Stranger's Blog

Line Out

The Music Blog

« Casey Corr: Yes or No on South... | Enough Nirvana already »

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Like Shooting Fish in a Barrel With A Machine Gun

Posted by on September 21 at 12:49 PM

My prediction re: the Weekly’s analysis of the election was, almost word for word, the Weekly’s analysis of the election.

From last night, at 10:35 pm:

Here’s my prediction for the Weekly’s post-election analysis tomorrow:
“The city council elections were a referendum on the monorail: Two monorail board incumbents floundered in second place behind anti-monorail opponents. Richard Conlin did better than expected because he made the monorail his main campaign issue. Jan Drago did more poorly than expected because she supported the monorail. And Richard McIver and Dwight Pelz, who both opposed the monorail, split the anti-monorail vote and did - um, better than expected.”

From the Weekly’s election story, titled “A Monorail Undercurrent.”

Seattle voters turned against the proposed monorail on primary election night, Tuesday, Sept. 20. The beneficiaries were Seattle City Council member Richard Conlin, a leading monorail skeptic, and a couple of political unknowns, Beth Goldberg and Jim Nobles, who were among those challenging incumbent members of the Seattle Popular Monorail Authority board. …
Former journalist and mayoral aide Casey Corr did not have nearly as much luck with his anti-monorail message against Seattle City Council president Jan Drago. … Nielsen [a political analyst] says Drago has done a good job of positioning herself as the true Democrat in the race…
Corr is, of course, a Democrat as well, but he will have to find a way to turn the race into a referendum on the unpopular monorail if he is going to succeed in liberal Seattle. The incumbent who fared the poorest in the primary was the council’s lone African American, Richard McIver, who managed a first-place finish in his race with only 37 percent of the vote….
Pelz and McIver do not differ much on issuesóboth are light-rail boosters, monorail skeptics, and fans of urban density.

For my take on why they’re wrong, read below.

Richard Conlin still has a formidable opponent in pro-monorail Paige Miller. Jan Drago, polling last night at 42 percent, was trouncing Casey Corr (with just under 25 percent), and will likely pick up many of the lefty (and, incidentally, pro-monorail) voters who voted for socialist Linda Averill and goofy green Angel Bolanos. And all three candidates in McIver's race were against the monorail, making it a non-issue.

Finally, Cindi Laws was trounced because of her anti-Semitic comments, not her support for the monorail. Taken together, the two pro-monorail candidates for Cleve Stockmeyer's seat - Stockmeyer and Dick Falkenbury, whose name is practically synonymous with the monorail - polled right around 60 percent. I have trouble seeing Jim Nobles (who wants to shut the monorail down) picking up many of those monorail-loving Dick Falkenbury voters.

To look at last night's results as a referendum on the monorail, you'd almost have to write the story without looking at the results - much less going out and talking to the candidates.

Incidentally, as I reported last night: not one Weekly reporter was seen at this year's primary election parties.