It was excellent last night to see so many people turn up for our public endorsement interview, the Mayoral Inquisition—Rontoms was so packed that they opened their giant windows onto Burnside and a couple dozen people stood on the street, peering in to hear the debate. Even KATU was there!
At the end of the night, we posted a text-in straw poll to see where the crowd stood on the candidates. Of the 160 people who texted in their votes, Jefferson Smith was the clear crowd favorite. He took a surprisingly large lead.
I'm still honestly undecided—there are definite strengths and drawbacks to both candidates. But luckily, I can listen to both politicians pontificate over and over because full video of the Inquisition is online thanks to our awesome livestreaming sponsors Blaze Streaming Media. For anyone who missed the Inquisition or wants to rewatch what happened, here's the full 80-minute event:
Anyone who was there: What did you think? Highlights? Low-lights? Best ideas from the candidates and worst ideas? Did anyone make up their mind on who to vote for? I think the format worked better than most debates to get the candidates off their buzzwordy talking points and be a bit more specific and nuanced (banning certain key phrases definitely helped), but it still wasn't perfect (like when I had to shout at the crowd to make the bar a "safe space." Liberal arts college degree, everyone!).
UPDATE! In contrast to our straw poll, check out the results of a KATU-commissioned poll of the race: More people are undecided in the race than are devoutly for Hales or Smith, but 34 percent of voters say they're going for Hales and 29 percent say they're for Smith.