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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Adolfo Carrion Counting on 'The Silent Majority'

Adolfo Carrion's path to victory as a non-affiliated party candidate (well, independence) seems to lay in the hands of the non-voters. "The Silent Majority," he calls the 71% who did not bother to go out to vote on election day in 2009.

“Part of this candidacy is to awaken that sleeping giant.” Mr. Carrión told David Chen for the New York Times.

In an interview, Jacqueline S. Salit, the political strategist for the Independence Party who are going to endorse Carrion on Wednesday said that Mr. Carrión shared many of her party’s goals, including nonpartisan elections in New York City. “This campaign will be fierce, it will be competitive and it will surprise” the old guard, Ms. Salit said. “We’re movement builders, we’re nonpartisan reformers, and we think that Adolfo Carrión is going to be a great partner in all of that,” she said. “And that’s why we’re supporting him.”

Mr. Carrión, whom the other day described himself as social progressive and a fiscal conservative  believes that by offering a moderate alternative to the Democrats who could be viewed as too liberal and tied to labor, and to the Republicans who could be viewed as unsympathetic to the needs of middle-class residents of boroughs beyond Manhattan, he could pull out the apathetic voters. “If it’s a three-way race, we can win this,” he said.

Political analysts,  who have spoken to the New York Times, said it was unclear whether Mr. Carrión would hurt the Democratic or Republican nominee more: conventional wisdom holds that Republicans, who are outnumbered in the city, need the Independence ballot line to win, but most of Mr. Carrión’s base is made up of Latinos, who have traditionally voted for Democrats.

Jefrey Pollock, president of Global Strategy Group said that Mr. Carrión would face “a major-league lift” to persuade Latino Democrats not to vote on the Democratic line. “There will be people in the Latino community rallying hard to support the Democratic standard-bearer,” he predicted.

Mr. Carrión said he knew that his bid to become the city’s first Latino mayor without being affiliated with either major political party is “obviously a high-risk proposition.” And "already, his rhetoric sounds at times like the first draft of a concession speech," writes Dana Rubenstein. “If we can move the needle on the important issues that affect people’s lives and force every candidate to discuss those issues, then the electorate wins,” he said.

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