By Doug Porter
As the mayoral election campaigns enter their final hours of campaigning there is unanimity on one point- the election results will be determined by turnout.
After all the in-person campaigning, all the advertising and all the debates, it’s going to comedown to how motivated voters are. Media reports say the mail-in ballots already received (but not counted) seem to favor Kevin Faulconer (counting districts he carried in the last election). The Alvarez camp’s ground game, on the other hand, is as good as it gets in San Diego politics.
While Kevin Faulconer has been advertising on Facebook for paid canvassers, hundreds of David Alvarez volunteers have been going door-to-door advocating for their candidate. Polling sponsored by mass media organizations indicates a dead heat. A “sixteen point gap” in earlier surveys has disappeared.
Perhaps nothing tells the story of these campaigns better than each side’s selection of venues for their post election rallies. The Faulconer campaign will be gathered at the US Grant Hotel, an elite destination for the power brokers in America’s Finest City. The Alvarez effort will be located at Barrio Logan’s Public Market, a re-purposed warehouse turned public venue and market space via a KickStarter campaign.
This quote from UT-San Diego’s Sunday front page tells the story
“Faulconer cannot seal the deal,” said Jay Leve, founder and editor of SurveyUSA. “Alvarez is demonstrating the same kind of remarkable, last-minute resilience that he showed in the general election, where he came on strong and overtook Nathan Fletcher at the wire.”
The strategy of mobilizing the Democratic base via a robust field operation is responsible for that resilience. Over 700 people showed up on Saturday to walk door-to-door for David Alvarez. From Ocean Beach to Clairemont to San Ysidro, volunteers went door-to-door. And their enthusiasm has proven to be contagious.
President Obama’s endorsement of Alvarez in this race came after the latest round of polling, but just in time to even further energize the final round of the get out the vote campaign. One need look no farther than the pages of our Daily Fishwrap, which buried the endorsement on page six, to appreciate the significance of this gesture. This morning the campaign announced that Gov. Jerry Brown had broken his silence and endorsed Alvarez.
For Kevin Faulconer, victory also lies with Republican base voters. An increasingly desperate advertising blitz is seeking to push their ‘fear buttons.’ Alvarez is too young, too liberal and too “other” is the message, and it’s being hammered hard.
I don’t know if the GOP’s ‘rising star’ Carl DeMaio’s decision to campaign for his congressional run this past weekend means anything, but maybe that’s just Carl being Carl.
As San Diego enters the final hours of this hard fought campaign, the question that really counts is: “Have you voted yet?”