Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Bob Dunning: No one’s a lock on Election Day


From page A2 | November 04, 2012 |

Since the folks at Gallup don’t generally concern themselves with school board elections and other local ballot measures, the task has fallen to me. And while the Davis school board race is clearly too close to call, I’m going to call it anyway. That’s just the kind of public servant I am.

I have reached my definitive conclusions about the race after conducting in-depth interviews last Thursday afternoon with three people standing outside Nugget, two of whom were from Chico.

When all three said they hadn’t heard of any of our five candidates, I showed them pictures of the fearsome fivesome and we went from there.

Before revealing the odds, though, I should explain what the numbers mean for those who have never placed a bet on the Super Bowl or the Kentucky Derby.

It should be noted that we have five candidates running for two seats on the school board, which is a tight squeeze. So the odds listed below are the chances that one specific candidate will gain one of the two seats, not that the candidate will be the top vote-getter.

Odds are expressed in numbers, such as “1 to 2” or “5 to 1.” The lower the first number, the better it is for the candidate.
Odds of “1 to 2” mean the candidate has one chance of losing and two chances of winning. Good odds, to be sure, but not what gamblers like to call a “lock.”

Odds of “5 to 1” mean the candidate has five chances of losing and only one chance of winning. Not great, but not impossible.

And odds of “100 to 1” make you a clear long shot and only a freak snowstorm on Election Day can save your candidacy from certain doom.

May I have the envelope please?

NANCY PETERSON (5 to 6): The Enterprise editorial endorsement says Nancy is “the perfect blend of experience and heart.” That’s not an opinion, just a fact. She’s pretty much done it all when it comes to serving our schools in a variety of roles. Don’t be surprised if Nancy laps the field when all the votes have been counted Tuesday night.

SUSAN LOVENBURG (1 to 1): Incumbency can be a powerful thing, and while Lovenburg has her critics, the choppy waters the board faces are not of her doing. A strong candidate with many friends.

ALAN FERNANDES (1 to 1): Smart, personable, hard-working and full of great ideas, Fernandes brings exactly the kind of neighbor-next-door approach so many of us wish to see on our school board. Whether he has enough name recognition in his first run for office remains to be seen, but this is a compelling candidate we’ll be hearing more from, win or lose.

CLAIRE SHERMAN (40 to 1): Despite an excellent statement of her vision for our schools in the Official Sample Ballot, Sherman’s candidacy never really took off. Lack of name recognition and virtually no funding doomed Claire’s chances in a crowded and talented field.

JOSE GRANDA (10,000 to 1): I like Jose Granda, I really do. He’s a good and decent man who cares passionately about every issue of the day. But he’s become known as Dr. No, seemingly opposed to everything. And while he will get a handful of votes from those deeply opposed to Measure E, it won’t be nearly enough to win the day. If Jose wins, I’ll find a dead crow and barbecue it at high noon on the steps of the Susan B. Anthony Building. No, wait, I’ll do that only if it’s not a no-burn day.

MEASURE E (1 to 3): Davisites have never seen a parcel tax they didn’t like. Despite its flawed ballot language, this one passes with 73.4 percent of the vote. And if it doesn’t pass, those of us who voted “yes” can simply pull out our wallets and voluntarily send in the $446 we were planning to pay anyway.

LOIS WOLK (1 to 100): Just wondering which Wolk will run for governor first, Mama Lois or Dandy Dan.

BARACK OBAMA (1 to 1): A 269-269 deadlock in the Electoral College. This one’s headed for the House of Representatives.

MITT ROMNEY (1 to 1): See above.

— Reach Bob Dunning at





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