Thursday, June 12, 2008

A handicapping the mayoral candidates game

Now there are seven would-be mayors in Richmond.

By the deadline, Tues., June 10, seven candidates had filed their petitions full of signatures to get on the ballot in the upcoming mayoral race in Richmond. The City Registrar’s office will look those papers over and no one should be surprised if one of the seven gets disqualified by that process.

Still, at this point there are seven and it’s probably too soon to say for sure who the front-runner is. Some of them aren't all that well known in every neighborhood and this is a citywide contest. With important endorsements yet to come, most voters are likely to be “undecided” for a while. So, measuring support is difficult this early in the game.

Another way of looking at the problem of deciding who’s out front is probabilities. Like setting the odds a bookie would put on a horse race or a boxing match. Which candidate is most likely at this time to win in November? Which is least likely?

Below is my list of seven, in order of their likelihood of winning. It’s an off-the-top-of-my-head product. Today I see Grey as most likely and Barnes as the least likely. Next week I may see it differently.

And, in the interest of full disclosure, I’m having fun with this year’s political season. I’m on the Barack Obama bandwagon and I am happy to support Mark Warner. I'm glad that with only 10 minutes to spare, Carol A.O. Wolf still got her petitions in on time. She's running for re-election to the School Board from the 3rd District. I've always gotten a kick out of Carol, ever since her days as a journalist.

But in the local mayor contest I’m totally undecided. So, my picks below aren't being made to help or hurt any of them. Moreover, I have no idea how accurate my perception of the relative strengths of these candidates is.

When I change my mind, due to developments, I’ll post updates.

Mostly, I’m hoping to spark others who read blogs like this one to make a list and post it in the comments here, or on their blogs, etc. And, if bloggers and blog-readers do play along by publishing their sevens, the cumulative effect will be that the blogosphere will establish the first perception of how the race is going to shake out. Maybe we can add them all up and make it semi-scientific.

And, perhaps most important -- it’s free to play!

SLANTblog’s Seven

1. Grey
2. Jones
3. Pantele
4. Goldman
5. Harvey
6. Williams
7. Barnes


Pauline said...

Why would Grey, hitherto unknown, be most likely? I don't think being the Mayor's pick is an advantage. And if he keeps the same staff, that would be a grave error.

F.T. Rea said...


While Grey may not be well known as a politician, he is hardly an unknown.

You must know more about him than I do, because at this point, I'm not at all convinced he is likely to keep anyone on Wilder's "staff."

My guess is that Grey, a past president of the American Bar Association, is starting the race with a better potential to draw support in five or more districts than any of the others. I also assume his campaign will be well-financed.