Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Closer Race Than Conventional Wisdom Would Have Us Think?

Posted By on Tue, Oct 27, 2009 at 12:28 PM

We've noted that early ballots are going the Democrats' direction in this year's city election.

But that doesn't mean the incumbents—Nina Trasoff and Karin Uhlich—are safe. We've heard some rumblings that the races are tightening up in the final week of the campaign.

One problem for Trasoff and Uhlich: A general anti-incumbent wave sweeping the country. Politico reports:

While political observers are focused on the outcome of the Nov. 3 gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey for early insights into the 2010 midterms, it's in City Hall where the most ominous trend is emerging.

Some incumbent mayors have already lost their races. Others have held on to win—or are likely to win next week—with greatly diminished margins from their previous re-election bids. Either way, local incumbents are bleeding badly after being buffeted by the pressures of high unemployment, low tax revenues and a volatile, impatient electorate.

On the other hand:

Some veterans of mayoral politics caution against reading too much into the outcomes of local races. Instead of reflecting national trends, they argue, mayoral elections often have more to do with the mechanics of local government and the delivery of city services.

"There's a little bit of variety in these local races that makes generalization a bit problematic," said former Indianapolis Mayor Steve Goldsmith.

Still, there's considerable disgust among voters toward the City Council, especially regarding Rio Nuevo. And while there is some good news coming out of downtown—such as the announcement yesterday that Kwang C. An wants to open a restaurant on Congress Street—it's overshadowed by hard-hitting pieces like Rob O'Dell's recent piece on the failure to follow through on a Rio Nuevo audit, which makes Trasoff and Uhlich look like dolts.

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