… and why wouldn’t Ed Lee pose with Broke-Ass Stuart today?

Broke-Ass Stuart wanted to pose with the mayor, but Ed Lee slipped away
Broke-Ass Stuart wanted to pose with the mayor, but Ed Lee slipped away

By Tim Redmond

NOVEMBER 3, 2015 – I was hoping some of the homeless people who inhabit mid-Market would show up for a free lunch today and have a word or two with the mayor and his pal Ron Conway, but that didn’t seem to happen. It was mostly the kind of crowd you would expect for an Election Day lunch – elected officials, candidates, activists, lobbyists, reporters, the gang of men and women who inhabit the world of SF politics on a daily basis.

It was nice of John’s Grill to host, along with Willie Brown, Sup. London Breed and lobbyist Alex Clemens.

C.W. Nevius was on hand. So were Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez, Julia Carrie Wong, and Chron editor Audrey Cooper, who noted that this time, John’s Grill was welcoming women.

Sup. Malia Cohen asked me what I was doing there. I guess I don’t count.

Broke-Ass Stuart was there, but Mayor Lee ducked away and wouldn’t pose for a picture with him. He walked away too fast. 

The talk was all about D3; Sup. Julie Christensen showed up for a couple of minutes but never went inside and made the rounds. Aaron Peskin was working on his GOTV efforts back in the district.

The overall prediction, from a wide range of people, not all of them in agreement on the race: Peskin’s looking like a winner.

We shall see in a few hours. It all depends on turnout.

Peskin supporters work to get out the vote in Chinatown
Peskin supporters work to get out the vote in Chinatown

I know that both sides are working hard on the “doorhanger wars,” on visibility, on reminding people that this is an Election Day. There are signs that it’s working – the return rate on mail ballots in D3 is up to 34 percent today, according to the Department of Elections.

But that’s 7,000 votes out of a total of 34,563 registered voters, so the overall turnout is still only around 20 percent.

The other prediction (again, not just for opponents of Mayor Lee): The mayor’s performance won’t be impressive. Despite having underfunded opponents, he may get fewer votes than anyone else on the top of the ticket. He’s not as popular as he was, and again, the consensus from the folks I talked to was that he could have been beaten if a prominent challenger had chosen to take him on.

I know why that didn’t happen – the mayor looked unbeatable eight months ago, and the threat that Conway and his gang would seek to attack and damage anyone who dared run was serious. But if Peskin wins, up against that assault, the message will be out there: Lee is not getting a mandate.

Meanwhile, turnout in the Mission is surprisingly high.

Polls are open until 8. Results will start to come in around 8:45. We will be following and analyzing as the story develops.