Was excited to hear on the radio this morning about a new poll
, which puts Michael Nutter within 2% of Tom Knox
among likely voters. Notable here, in addition to Knox's drop and Nutter's surge, is that (a) the undecided group is way up, 32% here, and (b) even those with a preference show uncertainty, with nobody over 14% when respondants were pushed to say that they would "definitely support" their choice. What this means is that all the recent horse-race coverage, the talk about Knox as "unstoppable," or about other candidates as the "only alternative," etc., is pretty much crap. This race is wide open, with probably half of all voters still in play. Newspaper endorsements are likely to come out next week and make an impact, the types of ads that candidates run are likely to sharpen, and voters will start to tune in to the issues coverage and other discussion as the calendar flips over into May.
Thus it's important to get discussion going
wherever you can -- talk up the candidate you really care about -- and also to be willing to support the right person
, as you see it, rather than presuming that only this guy or that guy has a chance. I don't know how many people I've heard say, in particular, that they'd really like to support Nutter, but thought he had no hope, and thus they figured they'd better vote for [Fattah/Brady] lest they end up with Knox. That's not the right way to be thinking at this point -- this is a primary, the field is wide open, and it's not the time for cynicism and hopelessness. Our votes, our activism, can make a real difference in such a close race. We should be supporting the candidate that we think deserves to carry our banner and run the city.
And thus I think it's appropriate for me to say that I'm endorsing Michael Nutter
for mayor. I've had the opportunity to see all of the candidates in person, as well as to read about their positions and watch them debate, and Nutter made by far the strongest impression. Not only is he clearly smart and well-spoken, familiar with City Hall and how the city works, but he speaks with a genuine passion about Philadelphia and its residents and what needs to be done here. He talks about violence without resorting to simple one-shot solutions, arguing that we need not only more police, but a better system to support and monitor prisoners when they are released, better oversight of violence-plagued neighborhoods, and better early intervention to keep kids in school and out of trouble. He's serious about the desire to improve city education, so that all parents will be glad to send their kids to public schools and so that more of them will graduate and go on to productive lives. And he clearly sees the linkages between education, violence, and poverty, and the need to address them all together. More even than these insights, he brings a proven dedication to better government, and an energy and earnestness that can inspire listeners. Michael Nutter as mayor could give Philadelphians pride in their city and hope again, after some years of anger and division. I'll be voting for him on May 15, and I hope you'll join me.Edit:
I guess I should include Nutter's website
! Still lots of time to make a donation, volunteer some time, get involved. (Same for our other endorsed candidates, who can be viewed from the sidebar link.)