There won't be shock, but there will be surprise if ABQ Mayor Martin Chavez fails to get 40% of the vote tomorrow night. That's the consensus of my All-Star Mayoral Team, analysts and observers with decades of experience in New Mexican politics and not about to pull any punches with their reputations on the line. Forty per cent means no run-off election and another four years. Let's go out to the playing field for the very latest this Election Eve.KURT LOHBECK--FIRST BASE
Kurt has thought from the beginning that Mayor Marty was going to take it without a run-off, and he is now putting some numbers on his prediction. "Chavez will get closer to 50% than 40% tomorrow night," the former CBS newsman and longtime NM politico predicted. He said 46% is his number for the mayor. And he also predicted there would a be a run-off in his home city council race in which Republican incumbent Sally Mayer faces three challengers. He also said look for a run-off in the Tina Cummins district in the far ABQ NE Heights and a near "dead-heat' on the proposal to raise the minimum wage.
BRIAN SANDEROFF--SECOND BASE
Sanderoff is the conservative player, not one to take anything off the table unless his polls show something clearly outside the margin of error. His Sunday Journal survey has Marty at 42.6% and Sanderoff is expecting the mayor to get the job done. The unknown is turnout. "If a bunch of people came out to vote for the minimum wage, people we don't normally poll, than Marty could find some trouble." Otherwise, it's four more years, said the pollster as he made the media rounds as the sun sank on a New Mexico Saturday. MIKE SANTULLO--THIRD BASE
This Chavez supporter, fearful for his candidate when the first poll had him right at the 40% mark, is now off the fence and comfortably predicting a mayoral win and no run-off. "My number for Marty is 41.6%," said Santullo who was finishing a radio gig at Balloon Fiesta Park. The political veteran also said the negative campaign run against the mayor was "too little too late. It did some damage but not enough," he analyzed.HARRY PAVLIDES--CENTER FIELD
The Democratic consultant and pollster also predicts Chavez will get 41.6% of the vote (come on guys, can you be more specific!). He says if turnout goes higher than his prediction of 94,000 to 97,000 voters the mayor's percentage would go down. But if turnout goes lower the Chavez number will go higher. "His base is coming out and it will be amplified in a low turnout atmosphere." Pavlides asserted.
He also predicted Isaac Benton would win the Downtown/Barelas city council seat over Diana Dorn-Jones. "I did polling for the Benton campaign and I think his low number is 52%." Anything else? "Yes," said the chain-smoking, 35 year political veteran. "The minimum wage hike is going to pass. It is seen as a positive thing for the city." And he added one other thing. "I am predicting that Eric Griego will take second place (28% to 30%) in the mayor's race and Brad Winter a close third (24 to 25%)," concluded Pavlides as he put away his crystal ball.TIM McGIVERN--LEFT FIELD
Tim, former news editor of the weekly Alibi, wasted no time painting the political picture.
"Marty's campaign should be feeling very optimistic about his chances of avoiding a runoff, but obviously, with the margin of error in Sanderoff's poll (+ or-4.4%), it's still too close to call. The Chavez strategy of attracting Republicans to his Democratic base from four years ago was both wise and effective, considering he's held onto his lead by simultaneously beating back a liberal Dem and moderate Republican.
Winter's support from his own party was both lackluster and inept, and now it looks like plenty of R's will break Marty's way Tuesday. If that happens the GOP leaders should bow their heads in shame (or resign). So despite his ethical transgressions, it appears Chavez has sunk the competition," Tim said.SCOTT SCANLAND--PITCHER
The top New Mexico lobbyist and mayor supporter says victory is in sight. "Marty should get over the magic 40% number and the big race of the night will be over quickly. Marty has run the type of campaign he needed to--he kept a low profile (for his style) and reminded people why they should feel good voting for him. He got beyond a divorce and supposed scandals. Case closed."
Scanland also predicted R Sally Mayer will be the top vote-getter in her race for re-election against two other R's and Dem Marianne Dickinson, but that a run-off could be in store as she might not hit 40%. Scott thinks Sally would prevail over Marianne in a run-off. I'm not as sanguine. Sally has been no slouch in this campaign, but Dickinson is one of the highest-quality candidates I have seen in years. This is one to watch. TERRY BRUNNER--CATCHER
The top staffer for Dem U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman put it this way: "The Mayor's numbers are good. While he hasn't absolutely secured the 40% he needs, he is likely there. The incumbent is going to get at least 2 to 4% of these undecided voters which should put him over the top. The Mayor can't let up though and has to have a good turnout effort.
Griego has to hope that the living wage initiative will bring unlikely voters to the polls. I'm not sure what Brad Winter can do at this point. He is polling well below where he should be with Republicans. He has to hope and pray that council races in the NE Heights turn out Republican voters.
I believe the (Tina) Cummins and the Mayer races will go to a run off, but there are so many candidates that it's tough to say who will make it," offered the knowledgable representative of the thirtysomething generation.JIM BACA--RIGHT FIELD
Yeah, let's put the ex-leftie ABQ mayor out in right field. He says unless there is a big surge in turnout because of the minimum wage measure and those voters also go for Griego, this cake is baked and Marty wins. If so, what does that mean?
"I think the campaigns were feeble. They could not raise any money. If he wins, it says he raised a lot of money and the voters are not dissatisfied with his performance and willing to put his ethical lapses aside," commented Baca, a leading edge baby boomer who just turned 60.
Thanks to all of my Mayoral All-Stars (minus the shortstop). Excellent job. My take on the mayor’s race was blogged here Sunday. Just scroll down the page. RADIO SPECIAL TODAY AT 5 P.M.
There's more Campaign 05' on the radio today at 5 p.m. Join me and my experts for a full one hour of city politics on KANW 89.1 FM. Then join us again tomorrow night for our 18th year of covering every major election on KANW. Election Night coverage Tuesday starts at 6:30. Thanks to all our sponsors. Please click on their ads on today's blog. See you this afternoon at 5 p.m.
(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2005
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