Monday, October 28, 2013

Voting - Last-minute donors are buying "stock at 52-week high"

De Blasio and Early Supporters, Brooklyn. Photo by JT Marlin.
Crains Insider has an inform-ative story by Andrew Hawkins about real estate developers resignedly writing checks, for the max allowable, to mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio -- even though it is late, one week before the election and de Blasio is a shoo-in with a 45-percentage-point spread between him and Joe Lhota.

What impressed me most about the article was a campaign contributor's acknowledging that late giving to a candidate was not buying much, that it was like "buying a stock at its 52-week high", as opposed to important early volunteering and money that paid for de Blasio's advertising campaign. The EMILY in "Emily's List" stands for "Early Money Is Like Yeast."

Both labor unions and real estate contributors mostly put their early bets on Christine Quinn or Bill Thompson. Polls as of February showed Quinn ahead three to one, with de Blasio just one percentage point behind Thompson, and I noted that de Blasio had the advantage of incumbency. But then Anthony Weiner shot into first place, showing that enthusiasm for front-runners Quinn and Thompson was weak. So when Weiner's campaign faded, de Blasio's ad featuring Dante Blasio and his Afro provided the boost for de Blasio to take Weiner's place in the lead. After de Blasio won the Democratic primary outright, it became clear that Joe Lhota was battling against a huge spread in the polls. Lhota's attack ad on crime got nothing for him, as de Blasio added five percentage points to his lead. So the campaign cash is now flooding in to de Blasio's campaign.

The final debate between de Blasio and Lhota is on Wednesday evening (sandwiched between the anniversary of Sandy on Tuesday and Halloween on Thursday) from 7 to 8 pm on NBC-TV.