Sunday, March 04, 2012

Leadership 2012 Candidate Rankings - March 4, 2012

With the voting window open and the second-last debate having just finished, we're into the home stretch of the NDP's leadership campaign. I've posted on the outcomes I'd like to see - but since that's a separate question entirely from how I think matters actually will play out, let's see if anything has changed since last week in my weekly ranking process.

1. Thomas Mulcair (1)

Once again Mulcair ranks well ahead of the second tier of candidates following another week packed with endorsements and another strong debate performance. Unfortunately nobody seriously questioned what his plans are in structuring the opposition - which means that it's no surprise that he didn't bother to explain himself, but also leaves an obvious risk for his campaign if he can't escape the question next week.

2. Peggy Nash (2)

Again, these rankings are based on who has the best chance of winning the leadership rather than my preferences as to who will. And while Nash showed a few of the same problems as usual in today's debate (again posing a question to Dewar about his planned deputies which echoed a previous questioner), she still seems to have by far the best positioning in trying to gather support within the second tier of candidates.

3. Paul Dewar (4)

At this point in the campaign, I'd think the candidates' own choice of targets says a lot about who they see as having the best chance to emerge as leader. And so it may be telling that Dewar was under fire throughout today's second question period, while nobody other than Martin Singh had much apparent interest in challenging Brian Topp.

4. Brian Topp (3)

Mind you, Topp did perform better today than he has most of the way through most of the debates, combining his usual policy substance with a much better effort to connect with the audience. But while he still has a plausible path to pick up down-ballot support, that won't do much good if he's clearly behind Nash and Dewar early on - which is looking like an increasingly likely outcome.

5. Nathan Cullen (5)

Once again Cullen performed well in today's debate, particularly in response to pointed questions from Mulcair about his support for the Sherbrooke Declaration. But in another running theme, his limited prospect of down-ballot support leaves him at the back of the pack for now.

6. Niki Ashton (6)

As in most of the debates Ashton had some strong moments today, but also struggled with a number of responses. And the opportunities to wow debate audiences to make up for limited organizational resources are running out quickly.

7. Martin Singh (7)

I'm not sure what Singh hoped to accomplish by attacking a select group of opponents as much as he did in today's debate - and indeed I wonder whether the intention is to be seen paving the way for a Mulcair victory by signalling how he'd like his supporters to vote as a second choice. But I have to figure that in the long run all the candidates will be best off not going as far over the top as Singh did.

14 comments:

  1. Dan Tan7:13 PM

    .
    I can tell you how the vote will go:

    1st to drop off: Singh
    2nd to drop off: Ashton
    3rd to drop off: Dewar
    4th to drop off: Nash
    5th to drop off: Topp
    6th to drop off: Cullen
    Last man standing: Mulcair

    The first two drop-offs should be obvious to any rational person. Singh & Ashton are merely advocates, not actual leadership candidates.

    Dewar is the most over-rated candidate in the race. The lack of French alone guarantees he won't be leader. His hype is mostly generated by those who live in the Ottawa bubble...locals, reporters, PR types. Even among Ontario NDP members, he's not that popular (I live here).  Figures that his wildest dreams have everyone ranking him number 2. Problem is, that leaves a whole bunch of other number 1's who will see him eliminated pretty early on.

    Nash & Topp are drawing from the same pool of supporters. Namely, self-perceived puritans & organized labour. They'll split that vote until they can't anymore...and then Topp will move on because he's slightly more charismatic than Nash. Unfortunately, Topp's charisma is not cross-generational...it's only appealing to an older audience. That's why he won't make it to the finals.

    Nathan Cullen is way too under-rated in this race. Pundits are letting the "joint nominations" issue blind them to the other volatile factors propelling his candidacy:
    - BC is the numerical heart of the party. To them, Nathan is not a one-issue hack...he's their golden-boy. I suspect the BC members are sanguine about the "joint-noms proposal", realizing it's more symbolic than practical.
    - No one can guage the soft Lib/Green membership Nathan personally brought into the NDP. These folks would have joined with the sole intention of supporting ONLY Nathan. This could an insurgency reminiscent of David Orchard & Alison Redford.

    Thomas Mulcair will win. While he & Cullen both share incredible charisma & intelligence, Mulcair will win on his command of French & the fact that he's not anchored to a controversial policy proposal. Rather than "anyone but Mulcair", I suspect the leadership race will end with "anything but joint nominations".

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dan Tan7:16 PM

    <span>.  
    I can tell you how the vote will go:  
     
    1st to drop off: Singh  
    2nd to drop off: Ashton  
    3rd to drop off: Dewar  
    4th to drop off: Nash  
    5th to drop off: Topp  
    6th to drop off: Cullen  
    Last man standing: Mulcair  

     
    The first two drop-offs should be obvious to any rational person. Singh & Ashton are merely advocates, not actual leadership candidates.  
     
    Dewar is the most over-rated candidate in the race. The lack of French alone guarantees he won't be leader. His hype is mostly generated by those who live in the Ottawa bubble...locals, reporters, PR types. Even among Ontario NDP members, he's not that popular (I live here).  Figures that his wildest dreams have everyone ranking him number 2. Problem is, that leaves a whole bunch of other number 1's who will see him eliminated pretty early on.  
     
    Nash & Topp are drawing from the same pool of supporters. Namely, self-perceived puritans & organized labour. They'll split that vote until they can't anymore...and then Topp will move on because he's slightly more charismatic than Nash. Unfortunately, Topp's charisma is not cross-generational...it's only appealing to an older audience. That's why he won't make it to the finals.  
     
    Nathan Cullen is way too under-rated in this race. Pundits are letting the "joint nominations" issue blind them to the other volatile factors propelling his candidacy:</span>
    <span>- BC is the numerical heart of the party. To them, Nathan is not a one-issue hack...he's their golden-boy. I suspect the BC members are sanguine about the "joint-noms proposal", realizing it's more symbolic than practical.  
    </span>
    <span>- No one can guage the soft Lib/Green membership Nathan personally brought into the NDP. These folks would have joined with the sole intention of supporting ONLY Nathan. This could an insurgency reminiscent of David Orchard & Alison Redford.  
     
    Thomas Mulcair will win. While he & Cullen both share incredible charisma & intelligence, Mulcair will win on his command of French & the fact that he's not anchored to a controversial policy proposal. Rather than "anyone but Mulcair", I suspect the leadership race will end with "anything but joint nominations".</span>

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dan Tan7:22 PM

    <span><span>.    
    I can tell you how the vote will go:    
       
    1st to drop off: Singh    
    2nd to drop off: Ashton    
    3rd to drop off: Dewar    
    4th to drop off: Nash    
    5th to drop off: Topp    
    6th to drop off: Cullen    
    Last man standing: Mulcair    
       
    The first two drop-offs should be obvious to any rational person. Singh & Ashton are merely advocates, not actual leadership candidates.    
       
    Dewar is the most over-rated candidate in the race. The lack of French alone guarantees he won't be leader. His hype is mostly generated by those who live in the Ottawa bubble...locals, reporters, PR types. Even among Ontario NDP members, he's not that popular (I live here).  Figures that his wildest dreams have everyone ranking him number 2. Problem is, that leaves a whole bunch of other number 1's who will see him eliminated pretty early on.    
       
    Nash & Topp are drawing from the same pool of supporters. Namely, self-perceived puritans & organized labour. They'll split that vote until they can't anymore...and then Topp will move on because he's slightly more charismatic than Nash. Unfortunately, Topp's charisma is not cross-generational...it's only appealing to an older audience. That's why he won't make it to the finals.    
       
    Nathan Cullen is way too under-rated in this race. Pundits are letting the "joint nominations" issue blind them to the other volatile factors propelling his candidacy:</span>  
    <span>- BC is the numerical heart of the party. To them, Nathan is not a one-issue hack...he's their golden-boy. I suspect the BC members are sanguine about the "joint-noms proposal", realizing it's more symbolic than practical.    </span>
    <span>- No one can guage the soft Lib/Green membership Nathan personally brought into the NDP. These folks would have joined with the sole intention of supporting ONLY Nathan. This could an insurgency reminiscent of David Orchard & Alison Redford.    
       
    Thomas Mulcair will win. While he & Cullen both share incredible charisma & intelligence, Mulcair will win on his command of French & the fact that he's not anchored to a controversial policy proposal. Rather than "anyone but Mulcair", I suspect the leadership race will end with "anything but joint nominations".</span></span>


    If I'm wrong about this, I will return and pay homage to the entire realm of professional punditry. If I'm right, I'll expect job offers ;) .

    ReplyDelete
  4. Dan Tan7:24 PM

    <span><span><span>.      
    I can tell you how the vote will go:      
         
    1st to drop off: Singh      
    2nd to drop off: Ashton      
    3rd to drop off: Dewar      
    4th to drop off: Nash      
    5th to drop off: Topp      
    6th to drop off: Cullen      
    Last man standing: Mulcair      
         
    The first two drop-offs should be obvious to any rational person. Singh & Ashton are merely advocates, not actual leadership candidates.      
         
    Dewar is the most over-rated candidate in the race. The lack of French alone guarantees he won't be leader. His hype is mostly generated by those who live in the Ottawa bubble...locals, reporters, PR types. Even among Ontario NDP members, he's not that popular (I live here).  Figures that his wildest dreams have everyone ranking him number 2. Problem is, that leaves a whole bunch of other number 1's who will see him eliminated pretty early on.      
         
    Nash & Topp are drawing from the same pool of supporters. Namely, self-perceived puritans & organized labour. They'll split that vote until they can't anymore...and then Topp will move on because he's slightly more charismatic than Nash. Unfortunately, Topp's charisma is not cross-generational...it's only appealing to an older audience. That's why he won't make it to the finals.      
         
    Nathan Cullen is way too under-rated in this race. Pundits are letting the "joint nominations" issue blind them to the other volatile factors propelling his candidacy:</span>    
    <span>- BC is the numerical heart of the party. To them, Nathan is not a one-issue hack...he's their golden-boy. I suspect the BC members are sanguine about the "joint-noms proposal", realizing it's more symbolic than practical.</span></span></span>
    <span><span><span></span><span>- No one can guage the soft Lib/Green membership Nathan personally brought into the NDP. These folks would have joined with the sole intention of supporting ONLY Nathan. This could an insurgency reminiscent of David Orchard & Alison Redford.      
         
    Thomas Mulcair will win. While he & Cullen both share incredible charisma & intelligence, Mulcair will win on his command of French & the fact that he's not anchored to a controversial policy proposal. Rather than "anyone but Mulcair", I suspect the leadership race will end with "anything but joint nominations".</span></span>  
     
    </span>

    ReplyDelete
  5. Dan Tan7:27 PM

    P.S.

    If anyone wants to make a friendly wager on this race...I'm game!
    Mulcair is a bit too obvious, but the other rankings aren't.
    ;)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Purple Library Guy12:52 AM

    Umm, self-perceived puritans?  Getting a wee bit personal, are we?
    Incidentally, just as a data point, I'm from BC and Cullen isn't my golden boy.  Frankly, I follow politics a fair amount and I don't recall ever having heard of him before the leadership race started.

    ReplyDelete
  7. jurist7:30 AM

    I wouldn't be surprised at all if Cullen ends up in the top three on the first ballot, nor if the final ballot comes down to Cullen and Mulcair. But my rankings are intended to reflect the likelihood of ultimately winning rather than focusing solely on first-ballot support or how long a candidate will last in the race - and it's precisely because Cullen carries a bigger perceived negative than Topp or Nash that I see him as less likely to be able to get enough down-ballot support to overcome Mulcair's presumptive first-ballot lead.

    As for Dewar, I'll add that he has plenty of prairie support well beyond the "Ottawa bubble" - which is why I'd currently consider it likely that he'll be ahead of Topp on the earlier ballots.

    And I'll agree with PLG's criticism below as to how you're characterizing Topp and Nash supporters.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Dan Tan9:27 AM

    PLG,

    Personal? No, I'm being broad & general.
    Those who declare "so & so" not "NDP enough" have no factual basis for doing so. They've let their imaginations run wild based on misinterpretations & innuendo. Topp & Nash have become the beneficiaries of their fears.

    BC members? Perhaps they are as ignorant as you say. My gut says no...and lay off the Taco Bell.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Dan Tan9:50 AM

    Greg,

    I understood your intentions with your own ranking system. Did not mean to imply you were trying to predict the outcome.

    My intention was to make a bold final prediction...No wiggle-room, no backing out. I feel that this race will be on auto-pilot until the end. It's a credit to NDP culture that there won't be a last-minute sex-scandal or crazed rant that derails any candidate.

    Keen analysts have all the information they need to boldly predict where this is heading. I urge others to indulge in my arrogance. It'll be fun to re-visit these after the race & see which analytic framework proved correct.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Purple Library Guy11:58 AM

    Wow, you know how to twist words.  Talk about misinterpretations and innuendo.  And browbeating.
    For instance, I didn't say BC members were ignorant.  To the contrary, I suggested Cullen was not well known prior to this contest.  
    For instance, claiming someone's belief is that a candidate is "not NDP enough" is a slur which neatly sidesteps all substantive questions of what a candidate might stand for politically, turning the issue from from real politics to identity politics.
    When a person is right, they don't generally need to use the tactics of argument you're employing.  If this is the kind of supporter Mulcair has, I am becoming still more convinced that under no circumstances will I vote for him.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Dan Tan1:12 PM



    PLG,

    I used "ignorant" in the dictionary - not Urban dictionary - sense of the word. That would be the implication of your position, like it or not.

    Enlighten me, which of Mulcair's policies/proposals are not NDP enough?
    And please don't resort to political language of "euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness" that George Orwell derided...and Mulcair's critics currently employ.

    If you look up my comment history, you'll see that I'm not particularly partisan about this. I've probably been harder on Cullen (my #1) than Topp (my #3).

    ReplyDelete
  12. Dan Tan1:18 PM

    <span>PLG,  
     
    I used "ignorant" in the dictionary - not Urban dictionary - sense of the word. That would be the implication of your position, like it or not.  
     
    Enlighten me, which of Mulcair's policies/proposals are not NDP enough?  
    And please don't resort to political language of "euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness" that George Orwell derided...and Mulcair's critics currently employ.  
     
    If you look up my comment history, you'll see that I'm not particularly partisan about this. I've pretty much stripped all of them naked...especially the ones I think would make a good leader.
    </span>

    ReplyDelete
  13. Purple Library Guy3:24 PM

    Give me a break.  I don't care what sense of the word you claimed to be using it in.  You were being an asshole.  Now you're being disingenuous.  And you're repeating the slur.  I may care about Mulcair's policy orientation but I don't care how goddamned NDP he is, and your imposition of that frame is bullshit.  But as long as we're talking about how NDP someone is, you talk more like a Liberal--as in, lying and manipulating rather than debating honestly.  To hell with you and your patronizing, dishonest crap.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Dan Tan4:14 PM

    LOL!

    Okay, I'm an "asshole", a "Liberal", a "manipulator", and clearly headed for "hell".

    And you are a calm, rational adult.

    ReplyDelete