A New Equation: McGinn > Mallahan > Nickels

[ McGinn addresses the crowd tonight at Havana on Capitol Hill ]

Whooda thunk?  Half the votes counted.  Is there any good reason to believe this trend will change when the other half is counted?

[  The 11 o’clock news is on it, out in the parking lot on the 1000 block of Pike Street ]

23 Responses to “A New Equation: McGinn > Mallahan > Nickels”

  1. eldan

    I hate to be the pessimist, but the margins between the three are so small that I doubt they’re statistically significant – in other words we have no reason to assume the ordering will stay the same when all votes are counted, and there’s a good chance this race will trigger an automatic recount.

  2. Joe G

    I love to be the optimist, but Yes Dan! We do have every reason to believe that Seattle didn’t “fuck this one up” and that the ballots will just continue to trend this way.

  3. Ellery

    Ditto on @1. And I wouldn’t call it pessimism.

  4. Zelbinian

    @eldan – You may well be correct about the odds, and the chance of a recount is almost certain, regardless if it’s automatic or not.

    That said, there’s some hope for the McGinn campaign. The current votes tallied are, unsurprisingly, some of the first votes submitted. McGinn surged late, and younger people voted later. These are good signs.

    Nothing would surprise me at this point – considering how surprising the results already are – but I am cautiously optimistic.

  5. Cook

    Can primaries go to a recount? If it did, I doubt the recount would be done before the end of September, which wouldn’t give the candidates a whole lot of time to campaign.

  6. Joe G

    But wouldn’t it be fun to be on KING5 with big hair and a track suit screaming “We were robbed!” in an angry old jewish lady accent?

  7. Wells

    I read somewhere that an automatic recount is triggered by a less than .5% difference in a count. So far, the difference between Nickels and McGinn is not that much. The next tally is supposed to be released around 4:30 Wednesday. It’s been a good day.

  8. Zelbinian

    I should also point out that statistical significance is greatly dependent on the size of the population we are considering. For example, in a Governor’s race, these numbers are completely statistically insignificant. This race not only has less registered votes, it’s also a primary, which people tend to give less than a shit about. Thus, these differences are probably more significant than you think. I’d run the numbers, but I’m lazy.

  9. Brian

    That’s too bad, Nickels was clearly the best of the three.

    Assuming Mallahan and McGinn go on to the general, it’s Mallahan’s race to lose. McGinn had a better chance against Nickels.

  10. Max

    I think the latest equation is Mallahan > McGinn > Nickels

  11. eldan

    @Wells: very interesting. Really it’s the difference between 2nd & 3rd place that would matter, so so far neither yesterday’s nor today’s numbers would seem to trigger one. Do you know if candidates can request a recount if an automatic one isn’t triggered?

    @Zelbinian: actually as the sample size goes up, the percentage difference needed for statistical significance goes down, partly because n% amounts to a larger absolute number of people, and partly because the chance of having a wacky unrepresentative sample goes down. So with each update of the results, we can treat the outcome as a little closer to certain, though the fact that the order’s already changed today shows how little certainty we have yet.

    That said, your point about later voters being more likely to vote for McGinn sounds pretty reasonable given the endorsements and momentum his campaign picked up towards the end. I also wonder if Mallahan will benefit from a similar effect, because the robocalls against him backfired – certainly anyone I spoke to seemed (a) more annoyed than persuaded by them, and (b) to take him more seriously because he got the incumbent scared.

    I’m just waving my hands around now, but if these hunches are right then we’ll see Nickels drop further behind, and a clear Mallahan-McGinn race develop.

  12. Good Grief

    @2: By the way, all the black people hate you now over that clever little saying of yours…

  13. Kathryn

    I agree McGinn versus Mallahan. I’m glad people could coalesce enough around two candidates to shove the Mayor out of it.

    I don’t agree that Nickels supporters will go for Mallahan. I think they would tend to go with McGinn. The explanation is long, but basically revolves around people thinking the Mayor still has credibility in regards to environmental protection. If that is their main concern, then I think they would tend to go with McGinn. Plus, all lovers of SLU…

  14. krustyklown

    That’s purely an assumption. It seems like the biggest issue that separates Mcginn supporters from the Mayor is the Viaduct replacement (a polarizing issue). My feeling is most of the Mayor’s supporters will not vote for Mcginn because of that.

  15. Max J

    @13 Some will go for one, some will go for the other. Personally, I’m disappointed Nickels is out, he is the best on land-use and transit (no matter what anyone says). McGinn is a slow-growther and is way behind nickels on transit. Mallahan seems like a (relative) conservative.

    I’ll likely vote for McGinn.

  16. Joe G

    @12 Thanks for the heads up. Thats an interesting perspective. I happen to have thought the whole thing was rather funny when I saw the sticker at Rebar on Saturday night. I have no idea who created it and I had not heard of the Forch incident. I think its more of an issue of tact then it is and issue of double standard.

  17. gene

    I voted for Nickels, but if I have to choose between Mallahan and McGinn, I would definitely go with Mallahan. It’s a shame, because I would love to vote for an environmentalist, but McGinn’s #1 priority is stopping the tunnel, and I am at peace with that decision. I didn’t favor a tunnel but I’m glad a decision was made that wasn’t a rebuild, and I’m just happy it’s all over. I don’t want another decade of squabbling and dozens more impact studies on this. I really mean it when I say I dislike the “Seattle process” and I can support a decision even if it wasn’t what I originally wanted.

  18. Andrew Smith

    I think I’m with you. I’m pretty scared of McGinn’s utter lack of experience as well.

  19. Steve

    @19: But being a mayor is just like being a community organizer, right?

  20. Christopher Stefan

    Gene, there is still no EIS on this tunnel alternative. WSDOT must go through the SEPA and NEPA process by law even if the bored tunnel is supposedly a “done deal”. Furthermore none of the funding is completely in place. Even the state is $400 million short for their portion which they “might” be able to make up with tolls but they aren’t sure because nobody has done the studies yet.

  21. Joshua Daniel Franklin

    While the bored tunnel issue is a big one, it’s far from the only one. In my opinion McGinn is weak on transit compared to Nickels, but he at least understands that SDOT can make a big difference. Mallahan is even worse: his plan consists of stopping the Mercer project and “efforts to obtain stimulus funding” . It’s not clear Joe has ever stepped foot on a bus.

    As far as I can tell neither McGinn nor Mallahan has made substantive comments about land use, though McGinn has a strong history with Great City. Mallahan’s main qualification for mayor seems to be leveraging synergy at a for-profit corporation, which may or may not be useful experience for public administration. (There’s a reason a lot of politicians are lawyers.)

  22. spencer


    Steve Shear and his guests are saying Frank Chopp and Mike McGinn will be getting together on the Viaduct Issue. Can’t wait for the result of that meet up.

  23. gene

    @20 – The tunnel is as close to a “done deal” as we will ever get. It’s state law. I do believe the final pieces will fall into place to make it happen. But I guess the fact that that hasn’t happened yet gives a lot of folks hope to throw the whole thing out and start over from scratch, and spend another decade trying to work out a solution. And if McGinn and Chopp are able to scrap the tunnel, you think there is consensus on what should happen? There are still equal numbers who want a rebuild as want a surface road. It will be another decade of squabbling and hysteria, and probably end with something worse than a tunnel. Or perhaps in that time the Big One will just knock it down and kill a ton of people. Is that what you want?

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