Mayoral Cliffhanger in The City: Professor McDaniel Discusses Effects of Ranked-Choice Voting

Monday, June 11, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE -- “Jane Kim deserves a lot of credit if Mark Leno does indeed get elected mayor,” said Jason McDaniel, an associate professor of Political Science at San Francisco State University.

Should the lead flip back to Leno in the end, Breed’s supporters would have “perfectly legitimate” reasons to be upset, McDaniel said.

“The feeling of ‘We have a popular African American woman who got the most votes from across the city, and she’s not going to be mayor’ is something that’s very frustrating for people. That will fuel some grievances,” he said.Political operatives on both sides of the ranked-choice debate agree that if a city is using the system, there is strength in numbers. Candidates, particularly those not considered front-runners or who are at risk of being outspent by their opponents, should consider teaming up.

“Candidates that don’t adopt a ranked-choice voting strategy are taking a risk,” McDaniel said, especially if the candidates’ political perspectives are well matched.