Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Handicapping the LNC chair election

General Predictions:

- The final ballot will be Wayne Allyn Root vs. ???

- On all ballots prior to that final ballot, Root will place first among all contenders.

- If Root isn't within a short distance of a majority (40-45% minimum) on the first ballot, he won't win. He commands a plurality for first choice, but is hardly anyone's second or even third choice. For the most part, either you're for Root or you're for Anyone But Root (including None of the Above). As candidates are eliminated from the running, his gains will be small. He may even lose some votes as one or more of his remaining opponents start to look like viable choices instead of long shots.

- Of course, there's a chance that he'll manage a majority on the first ballot, which will make it the last ballot, too.

My guess is that either Root will win a surprise first-ballot majority, or that it it will go to four or more ballots, and that Myers will be eliminated on the first ballot and Hancock on the second.

First Ballot

Root: ~40%
Phillies: ~20%
Hancock: ~20%
Hinkle: ~12%
Myers: ~8%

Second Ballot

Root: ~41%
Phillies: ~21%
Hinkle: ~20%
Hancock: ~18%

Third Ballot

Root: ~44%
Phillies and Hinkle: ??%
NOTA: ~5%

What happens next depends on whether Hancock's non-NOTA voters go to Phillies or Hinkle. My guess is Phillies, but it's nothing like a sure thing.

If Hinkle manages to get it down to Hinkle v. Root, Hinkle will ride the "emerging consensus wave" all the way to a fourth-ballot majority.

If Phillies manages to get it down to Phillies v. Root, we may go several ballots with a stubborn NOTA vote keeping either from winning a majority. When that deadlock breaks, I don't think it will break to Root's benefit.

As always, take my predictions with a grain of salt. When I'm on, I'm usually dead on. When I'm not, I'm usually so far off it's silly.

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