But one of them, one of two guys hardly known by the community only a couple of months ago, will be Seattle's next mayor. Incumbent Greg Nickels, who was widely expected at least to survive this week's primary election, conceded today. His timing was just about right: His votes have been close enough to the other two that he realistically might have edged into second place, until last evening's results which made that more problematic. And today's have erased most doubt.
One of the basics from politics 101: If an incumbent is on the ballot, the election is almost always more about the incumbent than about the challenger(s). And the results in this one could hardly have been any more definitive, with about three-fourths of Seattle voters deciding to throw Nickels out. Even had he slid through this week, he almost surely would have lost in November. For him, the effect is to cut short the pain. (And his timely concession cut it a little further.)
The two who continue on, though, will present some fine fuel for analysis. Since neither is an incumbent, and since they have won nearly identical numbers of votes - and neither can be considered a clear front-runner - the shape and substance of the general election is up for grabs in many ways.
It does have some context. Some suggestions for how to start to look at it . . . (more…)