"However many votes we get,we know the Bay Guardian will say it wasn't enough." That's what Mayor Gavin Newsom's campaign manager Eric Jaye said in the intro of today's C.W. Nevius column in the Chronicle, so I thought I might as well address it and get into the political prediction game.
Also in the column, consultant Jim Stearns said of Newsom, "I would expect that he gets 75-85 percent easily." Stearns is probably the best consultant in town, so I don't dismiss his numbers, but if Newsom really gets that much, the Bay Guardian will definitely say, "Whoa, that's a lot." Even against a weak field, if Newsom gets 80 percent of the vote, he'll have his voter mandate and be in a strong position to set the agenda in the coming years.
Does that mean the Guardian will roll over and support that agenda? If he does things like legalize gay marriage, support the labor movement, and offer universal health care, you bet. We've always been supportive of the mayor when he's done the right thing, but unfortunately, that doesn't happen very often, which is why we didn't endorse him. And we won't support his efforts to subvert progressive values, no matter what kind of mandate he claims.
But I also think this is a moot point, because my prediction is that he won't get anywhere near 80 percent.
OK, here goes, my totally unscientific predictions, based mostly on gut feelings, sizing up the field, and the reading of voter mood and turnout tea leaves:
Newsom: around 65 percent, maybe even as low at 60 percent. And if he really gets around 60 percent, that will indicate the mayor is even weaker than most people think and will probably remain fairly ineffectual in his second term.
Quintin Mecke: 15-20 percent
Chicken John Rinaldi: around 10 percent (with a GOTV effort and more turnout, he might have even gone higher)
Harold Hoogasian: 5 percent
Ahimsa Sumchai: 2-5 percent
Everyone else: Less than 1 percent each