A political campaign is like a bad marriage. It goes on and on and on, with all sorts of shouting and accusations, and then, suddenly, it’s over. And everyone is relieved, even if they got screwed in the settlement.
All of which means we’re going to hear a lot of junk in the final 10 days of this campaign — gossip, wrong information, and disinformation. You’ll hear the Vote No! side, through their propaganda organs (Dallas’ Only Daily Newspaper and plastic surgery’s favorite local magazine), talk about dissension on the anti-toll road side, how it’s having a difficult time raising money, how the momentum has swung to the pro-toll road side, and the like. That’s what happened during the petition drive, when D and The News were reporting, as late as the the day the petitions were due, that TrinityVote didn’t have enough signatures.
The only thing anyone should pay attention to are the numbers, and we won’t know those until the evening of Nov. 6.
A few other thoughts:
• Speaking of numbers, The News offered a couple of stories about the low turnout expected for this election. Political columnist Gromer Jeffries wrote an intriguing piece, discussing low turnout in a variety of ways — except which side would benefit from a low turnout. And why do we think this is? Gromer, here’s some math to ponder: Let’s say 50,000 people vote, which is what county officials expect. Let’s say 26,000 people who signed the petition, of the 90,000 total, vote against the toll road, a reasonable assumption. That means the pro-toll road side has to find 27,000 people to vote their way, which is a tall order given the lack of interest in the election and that they don’t have a base to draw from. It doesn’t mean they can’t do it; rather, that it will be difficult. You should have written that, Gromer, and you could even have quoted me.
• How poor has turnout been? How about one-quarter — and worse — of what it was for the first round of mayoral election in May? Granted, there are still five days of early voting to go, but only 267 people have voted at Reverchon in Oak Lawn, compared to 866 total in May. At Samuell-Grand, the numbers are 227 and 1154. At Dallas First Assembly, it’s 542 and 2031.
• Election sign vandalism is not funny, despite comments here and here. Just because the other side steals your signs (and I have received several reports of that) does not mean you should deface their signs.
• And, finally, a quote from Adlai Stevenson, to put this campaign in perspective: "I offer my opponents a bargain: if they will stop telling lies about us, I will stop telling the truth about them."
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