3 min read

Reading Election Tea Leaves: Framingham Mayoral Campaign Contributions

Counting number of Framingham contributors to mayoral candidates turned out to be a good predictor in 2017. Will that hold again this time around?

In this year’s preliminary election, number of local contributors in 2021 was a pretty decent way to guess the outcome. If we want to use number of contributors as a predictor for Tuesday’s general election, there’s a time-period question: Should we continue to look at number of local contributors for this entire calendar year? Or does the pattern after the preliminary election only hold important clues?

The year overall

Challenger Charlie Sisitsky maintains a comfortable lead over Mayor Yvonne Spicer in number of Framingham-based contributors during all of 2021, 211-118. He also won a convincing first place in the September preliminary election, 4,401 to 1,938.

The trend since the preliminary election is somewhat different, though, at 64-43 for Spicer.

Which is more important? My guess is that Sisitsky supporters didn’t feel the need to rush out and give more money to their candidate after his convincing win, while Spicer’s supporters were more likely to pitch in. So I believe the overall 2021 number is more likely the better indicator. However, the post-preliminary number could signal that results will be closer than September’s. One final note: I strongly believe that the higher the turnout, the less relevant this metric is in predicting outcome.

Overall, Spicer has raised significantly more money from outside of Framingham than Sisitsky, but out-of-city totals have rarely been predictive. While candidates need a base level of financing to run a viable city-wide campaign, more money hasn’t often translated into victory.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 2. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. If you have a mail-in ballot, you can drop it in a ballot-drop box either outside of the McAuliffe Library (Water Street) or City Hall until Tuesday at 8 p.m. as well as mail it. You can also choose not to use it at all and vote in person at the polls (but you can’t return the mail-in ballot at your in-person polling place).

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