As promised on the Times Union Local Politics blog yesterday, here are my calculated predictions for who will be on top and who'll be heading back to Oxford Road (oops, did I say that outloud?).
I've been tracking certain candidates from September 4th, resulting in their averaged buzz index poll (calculated from lawn signs, word of mouth, inside intel, last primary numbers, progressive support, machine support, etc.):
MAYOR - With an average spread of 10.75 points, Jerry Jennings is leading Corey Ellis 51.750% to 41.0%, with 7.250% undecided. Barring any further controversy as well as confusion at the polls, this should be a Mr. Jennings win at 55-45. Mr. Ellis will do at least 10 points higher than Archie Goodbee, Jennings' 2005 opponent, who did 32 points. Anything closer, even with Jerry winning, will ultimately be considered a loss for the machine and will eliminate any "mandate" to be developed. --- JENNINGS 55, ELLIS 45
TREASURER - Average spread for this race has been 21.08 points, with newcomer Kathy Sheehan landsliding her way against Betty Barnette, 59.0% to 37.917% with 3.083% undecided. Unless Ms. Barnette proves some sort of new confidence in her ability to run the city's finances between now and 9PM that will make up for years of incompetence, Sheehan will win 59-41. Ms. Sheehan has run a fairly tight campaign and significantly recieved a boost once members of Shawn Morris for Albany joined aboard, strengthening what was a 7 point lead in July to what we believe is now at 15-17 points ahead. --- SHEEHAN 59, BARNETTE 41
AUDITOR - The Auditor and Council President races have been the closest, most likely due to no incumbency involved. The average spread for this is a surprising 1.333 points, with regional planner Leif Engstrom ahead by 47.250% to former Gillibrand aide Darius Shahinfar's 45.917%, with 6.750% undecided. Whereas strength was higher for Engstrom before the Indy Party massacre, it's honestly a race where it could tip either way. We believe that, even though he has declined most endorsements, Shahinfar will very closely eek this out due to name recognition (2008 Democratic Congressional Primary), 52-48. --- SHAHINFAR 52, ENGSTROM 48.
COMMON COUNCIL PRESIDENT - Arguably the nastiest race of them all (yes, worse than the 11th), with a spread of 3.333 points, we have Carolyn McLaughlin ahead 50.5% to Lenny Ricchutti's 47.167%, with 2.333% undecided. McLaughlin was ahead in July by at least 7 points as well as has name recognition for being on the council for 12 years. Conversely, Ricchutti has developed a cult-like fan base from his days with PAL, making him a formidable force. Still, actual council experience will win this out and McLaughlin winning 54-46. --- MCLAUGHLIN 54, RICCHUTTI, 46.
And now for council races...
WARD 1 - Dominick Calsolaro will fully landslide this one against Scott Mannarino, with tracking trends at 67.50%, 28.167% (Mannarino), with 4.333% undecided. Expect Calsolaro at 65 to Mannarino's 35. --- CALSOLARO 65, MANNARINO 35.
WARD 3 - This may be a 2005 Corey Ellis situation, but from the looks of it, it's highly unlikely. Ron Bailey has been tracking at 53.50% to Lisa Feaster's 43.833% to 2.667% undecided. Expect Bailey at 55 to Feaster's 45. --- BAILEY 55, FEASTER 45.
WARD 5 - With the absence of Veronica Horne, Jackie Jenkins-Cox and Willard Timmons have been eating away at what would have been a Horne victory. Current trends have Jenkins-Cox at 34.250%, Timmons at 28.417%, and Horne still at 26.750% (she's still on the ballot), with 10.583% undecided. Expect Jenkins-Cox to win this, with Timmons and Horne following, 45, 35, 20. --- JENKINS-COX 45, TIMMONS 35, HORNE 20.
WARD 7 - Similar to the 1st Ward, Cathy Fahey will have no issue here. Trends have Fahey at 60.5% to Susan Tobin's 35.333%, with 4.167% undecided. Fahey at 60, Tobin at 40. --- FAHEY 60, TOBIN 40.
WARD 10 - Only twenty short years ago did a young restauranteur named Jimmy Scalzo oust a 20 year incumbent due to ineffectual representation and by some serious grass roots campaigning. How 20 years can make a serious difference... Leah Golby has been tracking 50.417% to Scalzo's 46.583%, with 3.000% undecided with a spread of 3.888 points. Golby will win this, 54-46. --- GOLBY 54, SCALZO 46.
WARD 11 - The most intense race of them all, for what was Jerry Jennings' old seat as well as the most socioeconomically diverse district in Albany. Three young men and a captain entered this race, all with promise as well as determined to represent real change in their ward, currently represented by Glen Casey. You have Anton Konev, who has worked with Corey Ellis on Albany for Obama last year; Ken Barnes ("the captain"), who represents long-term residents with a more conservative edge; Justin Teff, attorney and ward leader; and Luke Gucker, community advocate and whose the second version of Dave Lussier (2005 11th ward candidate and 2007 county legislature candidate).
Tracking has Gucker at 25.250%, Konev at 25.000%, Teff at 22.250%, and Barnes at 13.083%, with 14.417% undecided. A late night push for Barnes will actually work in this case, but not enough to claim victory. Gucker, due to his team of warriors and Konev, due to his team of one, will be the real race. Teff, even as a ward leader, we don't believe will claim victory here due to machine pull isn't that strong in the 11th. Gucker at 30, Konev at 26, Teff at 25, and Barnes at 19. There's just more support visibly for Gucker within the ward, compared to Konev's "Facebook-wide" campaign for a city seat. --- GUCKER 30, KONEV 26, TEFF 25, BARNES 19.