That headline might be overstating it. De Blasio solidly won this race despite lacking newspaper endorsements and a plan that won’t turn the city into Detroit within a decade. He’s a good deal worse than Weiner and a good deal crazier and a good deal more radical.
But an even crazier candidate who recently seemed unstoppable has gone down without the benefit of a major scandal.
Spitzer’s numbers appeared invincible. He was up against a somewhat obscure politician who was running for the comptroller post because he was ‘next in line’. And he had a whole lot of money and media time. And voters appeared to love another 1 percenter promising to smash Wall Street if elected. That got Spitzer into the governor’s mansion last time around. Now it looked like it would give him his comeback.
So what went wrong?
It’s an interesting question.
Scott Stringer didn’t suddenly become a lot more interesting to voters. But it is possible that the Democratic machine which never stopped backing Stringer did a better job of communicating to its voters that it expected them to pull the lever for Stringer because he was one of theirs.
Then again this primary season in New York consisted of voters grabbing on to bad candidates for bad reasons. If this had gone on for another week, de Blasio might have flamed out as voters realized what a walking bad idea he is.
On the Republican side, Lhota was always a lock for mayor. On the Democratic side, every post seemed up in the air with voters dissatisfied and shifting dramatically from one candidate to another.
Voters might have just gotten tired of Spitzer. Or maybe Spitzer’s base of angry people living in housing projects and complaining the rent is too damn high (also de Blasio’s base) couldn’t read well enough to tell the difference between Spitzer and Springer.
Or maybe they thought that Jerry Springer was running in this primary.
With anyone dumb enough to vote for Spitzer, you can’t rule that out.