Well, wasn’t that anti-climatic?
I mean Friday’s Committee of 70 poll that seemed to show a five-way tie for mayor, with the three women candidates in the lead. (Unlike some, I can define “woman.” And each of the three is a mother, not a “birthing parent.”)
Anyway. . .
The reason it can be called a “tie” is because each of the candidates falls within the 3.8% margin of error, as you can see in the terrific chart in this Inquirer story.
The range is from Rebecca Ryhnhart with 18%, to Jeff Brown with 11%. If you subtract 3.8 from her and add it to him, she has 14.2 and he has 14.8. That’s the margin of error effect.
That works mathematically, but probably not in reality.
While polls are imperfect, it seems clear Jeff Brown is on the skids. He should get out of the race and endorse another candidate.
The one most like him is Allan Domb, but there is bad blood, given how they have been beating each other up. Cherelle Parker has lied about how much Brown pays workers in his supermarkets, and has lightly played the race card against him.
That leaves Rhynhart as a likely beneficiary, assuming those who were going to vote for Brown would switch to Rhynhart.
But the biggest bloc of voters — 20% — is undecided.
That is amazing this late in the game, I quoted a local Democrat leader as saying.
As I wrote this morning, I was hoping the 70 poll would reveal a strong leader, but that hasn’t happened.
The results, however, were generally in line with private polls circulating in recent days.
A result showing a strong No. 1 could have coaxed some of the undecided to get off the fence, but we didn’t get that. With that said, I can’t believe anyone is “undecided” about Helen Gym. As an astute political observer told me, “She is either your first choice or your last choice.” Her progressive base is insanely loyal — but they have been counted. The “undecideds” are not her friends.
What we do have are three queens. Helen Gym is the Queen of ♣️ for her truculent style; Rhynhart is the Queen of ♥️ for her beaming smile, Parker is the Queen of ♦️because there is no way I’m using ♠️ for her.
With such tight bunching, 70 says a relative handful of votes could provide the margin of victory. A candidate could win with as little as 65,000 votes out of 775,000 registered Democrats — less than 1 in 10. That would make for a true minority candidate, even if it were to be a white male, which seems unlikely.
Especially if Jeff Brown stays in.
In recent days he has been caught in various lies or misstatements. He said an Ethics Board case against him had been settled, which it had not. He accused his Council opponents of voting to defund police, when they had not. He denied seeking an endorsement from the building trades, when he had “practically begged” for the endorsement, said Ryan Boyer, who heads the building trades.
At this point, Brown is like a dented can on a ShopRite shelf, damaged goods. It’s time for him to go.
If he bows out, at worst his support will be distributed among Domb, Parker and Rhynhart. Few of his supporters would find the uber progressive Gym palatable.
If this sounds like I’m saying Anyone But Gym, or Stop Gym!, you are very perceptive.
Brown getting out might help the 20% of undecideds to reach a conclusion. Experienced election observers are fearing low turnout, even though this is the most hotly contested mayoral race in decades. Low turnout helps Gym, who racked up 106,000 votes in the 2019 primary.
This is not Tweedledum and Tweedledumber. There are important differences among the candidates. There are differences in their strengths, which were included in the poll.
Rhynhart: White, male, Center City men, with high incomes, plus younger voters.
Parker: Latino and Black voters, Northwest moderates, and people 50-64.
Gym: “Very liberal” with high incomes who have already voted by mail.
Domb: Northeast, high school graduates, moderates.
Brown: Older voters, many of whom have voted by mail.
In about a week, I will dedicate a column to Gym, and after that, I will figure out who to support to send the shrewish Marxist back to the Woke swamp from whence she arose.