You may be surprised to learn that there is still a mayor’s race going on in San Diego–the resignation of Bob Filner seems like ancient history–but it’s happening on Tuesday, and it’s going down to the wire. The GOP candidate, City Councilman Kevin Faulconer, seemed like a shoo-in to win after Filner, the city’s first Democrat mayor in recent memory, resigned in disgrace over sexual harassment allegations. But that’s not the case.
As John Fund of National Review and the San Diego Union-Tribune note, City Councilman David Alvarez, a Democrat who was closely tied to Filner, is running neck-and-neck with Faulconer, owing largely to a massive turnout effort and millions of dollars in donations from public sector unions. Alvarez is even advertising across the border in Mexico to reach residents of Tijuana who may have relatives in San Diego, Fund observes.
The Union-Tribune‘s Mark Walker expects Falcouner to lead in early voting, but for Alvarez to make a late charge in the vote count, noting that “a heavy push to turn out Latinos and all voters in neighborhoods where Alvarez is viewed as the favorite could cut into or even erase the Faulconer lead.” It’s a test of the ground game, and as Fund notes, a test of the demographic-turnout model that Obama used to win re-election in 2012.