Well, that would be that. The conventional wisdom held that the Mayor would have cruised to victory at least 70/30, DeSantis’s supporters (including me) were hoping for no more than 60/40, preferably 55/45. So we ended up with 64/35, with 1% of the perennial “Mickey Mouse” write-ins. Splitin' the difference. Yep, I am ignoring the socialist and the libertarian, who between them got fifteen hundred votes. Damn election stealer’s. No, "stealer’s". It’s not Monday night.
Total city votes cast about 67,000. I’m not sure what that means for the city, percentage-turnout-wise, but county wide turnout was at 28%.
A competent Mayor would have gotten that 70/30, maybe 75/25 like democrats of the past have gotten. Actually, Joe Weinroth, with his lack of campaigning, got 27% of the vote against the supposedly wildly popular Bob O’Connor. That was the best showing by a republican in many elections, FWIW. Actually, now Mark DeSantis' is the the best showing by a republican in many an election, going from five to one to slightly less than two to one.
Still, a competent challenger might have won against this Mayor. And I don’t want to take away from Mark DeSantis with that statement, he is passionate and intelligent, but he was a first-time campaigner, and I wonder if he knows why he lost ( … besides the five-to-one registration thingie …).
George W should have lost against Al Gore in 2000, and he did, actually. But the reason he got close enough for the Supremes to toss it to him is that he could hide his true tax-cutting , government-hobbling self in a folksy exterior. The suggestion I had made to Mark was to use personal-type anecdotes in the debates. By personal type, I mean something like Joe Police-man has been on the force for twenty years and is looking to retire. He’s looking forward to taking his grandkids to Sandcastle and traveling with his wife. Except that his pension has been cut in half, so he is going to have to look for work, in this city. He can’t afford to move out of the city, but his kids couldn’t afford to stay, because they couldn’t find good paying jobs here. So Joe and wife will be traveling, on the bus, to see his grandkids. If he can get time off from the McDonald’s where he works. If he can't, maybe the grandkids can visit and have half off Happy Meals (tm). – kind of fing. Correctly done (for example, shorter), it might have made a difference. But that’s obviously not on the issues, per se, and I think Mark wanted to present the issues and let voters make up their own minds.
Would a different style in the debates have been worth the whole 15% Mark needed to make up? Probably not, he probably also needed to hammer on the Mayor’s problems by presenting negative ads. Bill Peduto’s prediction that anyone going negative against the Mayor in spring would suffer more might well not have held true in the fall, after Tiger-gate, Golf/domestic abuse-gate, Ethics-board-gate, Tail-gate and I can’t even remember which all else (not counting the earlier Heinz-gate-gate, McNeilly-gate, BurkleNY-gate and the off-duty police pay issue).
In other words, Mark needed to run a mature campaign with professionals. He was Robert Redford in "The Candidate" (even if he does look more like Peter Boyle), but he didn’t have Peter Boyle, he had ..., well ..., Jim Roddy (and Mark didn't win where Bobby Redford did). I don’t know if Mark listened to Jim, or what Jim said. Jim may well have been off raising the half million for Mark's campaign, and may not have had time to talk to Mark. Mark also needed to run a five month campaign instead of a two month campaign. Maybe with five months his messages about the issues could have sunk in, but with two months he needed to get down into the dirt. Instead Mark went down with his head held high, but the major point is 65-35. Sorry Mark. The burghospree is rough sometimes. And Pittsburgh is one for two on PhD's in government.