Wednesday, March 11, 2009

CONGRATS TO ALL OF THE CANDIDATES, AND CALLING THE ELECTION SORT OF

In the interest of good sportsmanship the City Commission should invite all of the candidates to the next meeting and publicly thank them for running. I have a lot of respect for anyone willing to go through the process and subject themselves to the endless rumors and garbage which will be thrown at them.

The key to good analysis is learning how to keep out personal bias, while sticking to known variables which predict a winner. To win an election you must have money, a political machine, and name recognition. Two of these three variables is what it takes to get you out of the gate.

Carlos Ayala and Dr. Gowen have at least two maybe all three of these variables. Based on this simple fact I predict with 100% certainty the two will face each other in a run-off. The only exception to this prediction is, if something real bad comes out about one or the other candidate, then I predict one or the other will win out right. The other candidates in the race have at most one of the three variables and one is never enough.

I predict a run-off between Cisneros and Zamora. 60-70% of the female vote will turn out for Melissa Zamora. This will be enough, coupled with whatever % Sorola pulls to insure a run-off. Sorola cannot win. The anti-wall people will work for either Cisneros or Zamora to the injury of Sorola. Sorola has really burned his bridges on this one. If the anti-wall people choose to side with Zamora, this coupled with the female factor, I predict Zamora will win the run-off. The key for Zamora is to convince the anti-wall people that Cisneros was all too willing to compromise with DHS, and as the facts now inform us, he was wrong. Remember in a run-off Zamora will have the benefit of Gowen campaigning for a strong female turn-out. You might say Zamora will benefit from Gowen's coattails.

Camarillo, Uresti, and Miller: This is the one election I predict a possible outright win for Camarillo. It is easy for me to say Camarillo must go because of his reversal on impact fees, and his actions while a student at UTB in helping Juliet Garcia nearly bankrupt the students with higher fees. These facts in this election will not matter. Neither of his opponents have money or a political machine to back them.

Further on the impact fee issue all Camarillo has to say is "I was right. Had I voted to keep the higher impact fees there would be even more unemployed construction workers than there are now. " This will resonate with people. In my previous postings I have made clear I think he is wrong. But my opinion on the issue of impact fees is worthless. I know and understand why me or anyone else trying to explain to people why higher impact fees are good for their property values will fall on deaf ears. Camarillo’s response is a lot easier to understand, so it will win votes.

If it were just Uresti v. Camarillo, I might be willing to say an interesting race to watch. Ms. Miller has changed everything as a female. If a large enough percentage of women blindly vote for Ms. Miller as a female, that will be enough to hurt turnout for Uresti. Further regardless of what you think about Camarillo on impact fees or UTB, he is involved in his district. He is very visible in terms of being there.

What I or anyone else may personally think about any individual candidate is meaningless in terms of analysis. Most people who vote will vote blindly. All of the garbage I have rejected about all of the candidates will never be known by most voters. A prediction must be based on what the voters know, not on what I know or I think I know.

A lot of women will look at the ballot, not know what to do, and just pull for a female. Ms. Gowen will help this effect along. She will have a public voice, unlike Ms. Miller, and people will begin to think "no women on the city commission." I believe if Ms. Zamora can get the anti-wall machine behind her campaign she too will have a voice enhanced by Ms. Gowen’s own campaign.

Sorry guys, but this will not be the year of the men. I predict all run-offs will have at least one woman. I can imagine some of the posts now - so and so is illiterate; so and so is a sociopath; so and so is everything under the sun. Again this will not matter because the average voter will have no knowledge of any of these complaints. You predict an election based on what the voters know, not on what you want them to know.

Also, I am not demeaning women based on my analysis. People vote based on race, party label, name recognition, so why not gender? Actual knowledge about the candidate all too often has nothing to do with why people vote for one person or another. Voting for someone because they are a woman is just one of so many variables people consider before they vote.

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