I have to say that some of the best work on this Nashville Mayor's race is coming from Rob Robinson at Think Train. His assessments of both Briley and Dean do a good job of identifying the strengths these two possess that will make them great leaders for our future. While he discounts Clement much more than I do, his grasp of Dean and Briley is really insightful.
Now, however, Rob is suggesting that one of the two drop out of the election. I feel sure it is too late for that strategy to work, and I feel like it may be too cute by half.
If Dean and Briley are the two best suited to serve as Mayor, why shouldn't they be in the runoff against each other? If the people now at odds with each other over the Dean-Briley divide really are such a narrow and inactive slice of the population that they cannot hope to turnout enough votes to overtake Clement, Dozier, and Gentry, then perhaps our little battle is very small. If, on the other hand, the issues these two men represent and the trustworthiness that they exude are really what the mainstream of this city wants, then there is no reason that turnout cannot be high enough to put them both on the ballot.
Why is it a given that Clement will be on the ballot? Has he inspired voters to turnout any more than these others? I doubt it. He is the most well known, and we have been steadily told that he is the front runner, but his support, as far as I have seen has been soft, and it has been gauged more on name recognition than likelihood of turnout. As far as I can tell, all of the candidates have been judged on name recognition in every poll so far.
TURNOUT is all that matters. If more Dean and Briley supporters actually go to the polls, there is no reason these two can't battle it out in the runoff.
The trick is to move away from the computer screen and find some new voters or apathetic voters who need to know how important this election is to the city of Nashville.