The Special Election Sweepstakes Contest: place your bets

A.J. Wagner was telling me on Thursday night after the State of the City address that Montgomery County Board of Elections Director Steve Harsman predicts that the results will be done by 9 p.m. on Tuesday, May 7.

I understand statistics, and I understand predictions based on prior elections, but, we’ve not had a primary in Dayton City Commission races in 20 years, and even then, never had three well known candidates. When Richard Clay Dixon was challenged by 5 others including me- no one knew who Mike Turner was. And there definitely wasn’t this kind of spending- Mayor Dixon had raised $28,000 which was a really large sum- and that was after the primary that had him facing Turner.

Nan Whaley raised and spent well over $100,000 in the primary. She’s sent absentee ballot requests, early voting requests, and a mailing almost every other day for the last two weeks. The question is, will it cause people to go vote? Dayton doesn’t have any tax levy on the ballot- so it’s not about hitting voters in their wallets. There was even a mass mailing by the BOE to tell everyone their polling place had changed (yet again). So- statistics really don’t exist.

To make this fun- here is what I propose, a 2-part poll contest. Winner gets me to make them my famous chicken parmigiana (I’ll deliver it to your house to do the finish bake if you don’t want to eat with me, or I’ll do the dinner here. Serves up to 8 people of your choice.)

Guess where Nan comes in, 1st, 2nd or 3rd, and dollars spent per vote. Dollars per vote will have to be determined after the next campaign finance report is due Post-Primary June 14, 2013, to disclose activity through June 7, 2013. (The MCBOE link is to a dead page on the SOS site: > – the SOS isn’t doing us much better- with a link to a pdf > Dinner to be delivered on any Saturday or Sunday night before July 4 2013.
To give an instant post election prize- predict turnout too- and the person who gets the closest on turnout and Nan’s position wins a brand new in the box, last generation ipod shuffle.

So- format for entry: 3rd, $19,83 and 12, 850 that’s Nan Whaley’s position after the primary, total spent by Nan per vote she received and total turnout (ballots cast).

Trying to pick winners and losers in this 3-way race is very hard, since Nan and A.J. may split the long-time Democratic voters, Gary gets the Republicans, Independents, people who like what he’s done without 2 other votes of support, plus the voters who are just voting against the ridiculous money being thrown at this race. The final separation of votes could be another betting option- with it coming down to less than a hundred between places. (feel free to throw the final spread between either top and bottom or bottom 2 vote getters- make sure you label your numbers correctly :)

The Sweepstakes for Dayton are now open. Pundits, sharpen your pencils.

And one last note: There is a $1,000 bounty out for anyone who records a call  or person from a campaign offering Dayton voters any kind of incentive to go vote on Tuesday, such as a free meal, a bus pass, or cash. Rides to the polls are ok, but, any other talk of an incentive on the way to the polls- is cash in your pocket.

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