One of the easiest ways to scare one group is to identify an opposing candidate with another group. It's part of defining your opponent. This one's a conservative, a Republican, a developer. That one's a liberal, a Democrat, an environmentalist. The idea is to scare people into voting against someone simply because they're not like the group they identify with. One of the easiest ways to create these divides is to interject race into the discussion.
Of course, no one will admit to using race in a campaign - that would be repugnant, reprehensible, and something only the other campaign would do. But if you can get a surrogate to make race a topic of discussion...
Developer Rob Dickson could be the long-shot to watch.. Although liberal-leaning, as an Anglo candidate Dickson could help Chavez by peeling some NE Heights votes away from Berry.Don't believe for a moment that Monahan's racial mentions are an accident. The Democrat blogger could have easily identified the Northeast Heights as conservative or leaning Republican - which would be more accurate - rather than making his description based on race. Further, the implication is the R's injected race into the discussion.
City Hall watchers are now framing the race this way: Chavez is positioned to get 40% of the vote and avoid a run-off election. However, they see the fly in the ointment as Rep. Berry, but do not see him as the strongest Chavez challenger. They see Berry in the role of spoiler, peeling conservative and Republican votes away from Chavez and boosting Romero, giving him a chance to hold Marty below the magic 40% and forcing a run-off election.
Naturally, the Berry camp and the R's disagree with that analysis saying Berry can consolidate conservative and Anglo votes and force the run-off between him and Chavez, leaving Romero in the dust.
We're not saying that Monahan is being racist. That accusation is being thrown around far too frequently and in our experience it's generally thrown around most often by those who harbor racist views themselves. What we're asserting is that Monahan is using race to support an analysis that is fundamentally flawed and perhaps wishful thinking.
What terrifies Democrats like Monahan is that two strong Democrats facing a single strong Republican will deny the mayor access to the very voters who are responsible for his past victories. If you'll remember, Marty ran his previous campaigns as a business oriented Democrat - a moniker that he has since tried to lose by courting the far left through his "green" initiatives.
Do the math. Even if Democrats manage to garner 60% of the overall vote the odds are pretty good that neither one of the two will reach the magic 40%. Unless of course there's some kind of wild card introduced into the campaign - something to polarize voters and set one group against another.
The Chavez administration has become increasingly overbearing and vindictive. Romero has aligned himself with one of the most liberal activists in the state, Eli Lee. With the growing crime rates, budget deficits, and out of control spending that both candidates are associated with, Berry should easily be able to make a convincing case to conservatives and Blue Dog Democrats that he is the man for the big chair on the 11th floor.
In the meantime look for the two "major" Democrats to attempt to create divisive wildcards that have nothing to do with major issues like red light scam-eras, term limits, crime, and out of control spending. Wildcards that are designed for one purpose and one purpose only... fear.