After a long day and night spent out on the streets campaigning yesterday, I'm not as my most alert for posting this morning. So here's just a few quick thoughts on Mayor Bloomberg's (narrow) re-election. On Friday, I'll come back with education suggestions for the mayor's third term that he might actually follow.
They (whoever they may be) often say that re-election races are referendums on the incumbent. Sometimes that's true and sometimes it's not. This is a case where it was true. After all, the Mayor enjoyed a 14-1 spending advantage and his opponent wasn't actually mounting a visible campaign. The decision people made yesterday was all about the Mayor.
The interesting thing there is that according to Times exit polling, 70% of New Yorkers approved of the job the mayor was doing. You may notice that's about 20% more than actually voted for him. This wasn't even a referendum about the mayor's job performance, it was a referendum on him. That's kind of interesting to me.
Obviously, the campaign style was a mistake. That seems pretty un-controversial to say when your vote total is 20% lower than your approval rating. A voter is quoted in that Times article saying, "I feel he bought himself the election” and “ran a smear campaign against a nonexistent opponent." Rightfully so, that didn't sit well with people.
Let's hope all that talk about a third term curse is bogus. After all, I live here and if the Mayor comes on hard times this go-round, he's not the only one who'll be in trouble.