History suggests Fletcher in trouble in San Diego mayoral special election

History suggests Fletcher in trouble in San Diego mayoral special election

nfmfThe Tuesday night decision by members of San Diego’s Democratic Party central committee to endorse City Councilman David Alvarez over Republican assemblyman-turned-independent-turned-Democrat Nathan Fletcher appears to substantially improve the chances that the Nov. 19 mayoral special election to replace departed pervert Bob Filner will have echoes of the city’s June 2012 mayoral primary.

In that vote, Republican-endorsed City Councilman Carl DeMaio narrowly edged Democrat-endorsed congressman Filner, while then-independent assemblyman Fletcher finished a fairly close but not that close third. So it was DeMaio vs. Filner in the November runoff, which Filner narrowly won, helped by coattails from President Obama’s spectacularly successful voter-microtargeting campaign.

Here are the June 2012 results:

 Carl DeMaio 55,120 32%
 Bob Filner 51,680 30%
 Nathan Fletcher 41,157 24%
 Bonnie Dumanis 22,488 13%

Faulconer doesn’t have DeMaio’s downsides

In a special election, even more so than in a primary election, voters are usually partisan die-hards. So if Fletcher couldn’t finish in the top two in a primary election with two credible Republicans (DeMaio and DA Bonnie Dumanies) and one credible Democratic opponent (Filner), how likely is the newly minted Democrat to make the runoff in a special election against one credible Republican (City Councilman Kevin Faulconer) and two credible Democrats (Alvarez and former City Attorney Mike Aguirre)?

There will be those who say Fletcher, a polished, handsome war veteran with wealthy backers, is a much stronger candidate than the low-key Faulconer or Alvarez, a 33-year-old who has had an unremarkable stint on the City Council.

But Faulconer has far fewer hard edges than DeMaio. And while this shouldn’t matter, it probably does: Unlike DeMaio, Faulconer isn’t gay. He’s a poster-child hetero family man.

And Alvarez has not just pretty strong union support but this ethnic-pride element going for him: He has a solid chance to be heavily Latino San Diego’s first Latino mayor.

Will that doom Fletcher? Perhaps. Maybe political science and karma will be on the same page, for once.


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  1. Too Early to Tell
    Too Early to Tell 25 September, 2013, 10:00

    “Faulconer has far fewer hard edges than DeMaio” – this might actually be a negative, as “low-key” doesn’t really motivate committed volunteer campaign activists. Faulconer needs an outstanding GOTV operation, but where will his campaign get the volunteers?

    In addition, “poster-child hetero family men” don’t seem to excite the electorate – they can’t identify with it and are sometimes repelled by the image. Exhibit A: Mitt Romney.

    Fletcher is a celebrity, and it’s hard to beat celebrities. He needs to be taken seriously. Alvarez needs to be taken seriously too, although one shouldn’t make the assumption that Latinos will knee-jerk vote for a candidate because he has a Latino name.

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  2. Richard Rider
    Richard Rider 25 September, 2013, 10:44

    Still to come are the labor union endorsements — and their big-time spending campaigns. It’s hard to imagine the unions going against the Democrat Party-endorsed candidate, but flip-flop Fletcher has sold his soul to the unions (see his AMAZING questionnaire below), so the (labor boss) jury is still out.

    Indeed, the unions just might split in this matter — though they would, of course, unify in a runoff against Faulconer.

    Here’s my write-up on the Fletcher questionnaire, and the link to the actual survey response:

    You’ve simply GOT to read how “independent” San Diego mayoral candidate (and former Republican) Nathan Fletcher has COMPLETELY sold out to the labor unions — apparently in a desperate effort to win labor’s multi-million dollar funding that might well go to true-blue Progressive David Alvarez.

    Fletcher did not sell out on just one or three issues — he now supports the most radical union positions — EVERY SINGLE ISSUE. Among other things, he opposes any sort of managed competition or outsourcing — something he supposedly supported a couple years ago.

    Apparently his labor union mayoral candidate questionnaire was leaked. It is posted online, along with SD County GOP Chair Tony Krvaric’s devastating comments. If you are from the San Diego region, you simply MUST read this.


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