Duluth mayoral prediction 2007

I’ve mentioned this before, but in the odd years I like to place inordinate attention on off-year elections that have only tangential influence on my life. Such is the life of a political junky. As such I have been following the Duluth mayoral race somewhat closely. Everyone outside of northeastern Minnesota might think that Duluth is just some mid-sized outpost on the frontier, but to Rangers it is the “big city” and I’m going to have to watch whoever wins on my local TV news for the next four years.

So you’ve got businessman, conservative Democrat and “outsider” Charlie Bell running against city counselor, moderate Democrat and former Jim Oberstar campaign manager Don Ness. Bell won the primary; Ness finished second about ten points behind in a very crowded field.

My primary prediction was half right. Ness did advance but not as the top vote getter. Now that I’ve got a sense of the Duluth electorate in their primary voting patterns, I will make this prediction for the general:

Ness 52 percent, Bell 48 percent.

This one will be very close. I give Ness the edge because of his track record in city wide elections and his slightly more polished campaign. Bell could pull off an equally close win if the city council does something stupid in the next two weeks (which, in Duluth, is a strong statistical possibility).

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