Sorry Eileen Bruskewitz. I've been wrong big-time before, but if you beat Joe Parisi, I'll never make another prediction in my life. About anything. The progressive vote that was split between at least three candidates (I'd say about 3.5, considering Zach Brandon made some appeals to conservatives), more than triples Bruskewitz's vote total. I'd say death or a felony conviction would be the only things stopping Joe Parisi from winning on April 5th.
Now, I'll be the first to admit it: When I heard about Soglin edging out Cieslewicz last night, at first I was shocked and humbled (such a corny word), given that I'd written earlier that Cieslewicz was the favorite.
However, as a couple of cooler heads at the Parisi party pointed out, the primary electorate is different. It is even more educated and informed than the April electorate, meaning it is more likely privy to the disillusionment with the mayor in progressive circles. It is also an older electorate. I don't need to go to lengths to explain why that would benefit a guy whose only mayorless decade in the past 40 years was the most recent one.
Everybody in the papers says the primary indicates one thing: The general election is going to be very close. I agree. But my gut tells me Cieslewicz still has an advantage. In addition, Soglin may have blown a lot of money on the primary and be at a significant financial disadvantage. However, his victory last night should allow him to mobilize a very serious fundraising effort. It's hard to tell whether the mayor's second place finish will depress contributions or send a message to donors that they have to take the race seriously. Any thoughts?