On paper anyway, the strategic contours of this year's mayoral election aren't that different from the last time around. Which proved, of course, disastrous for the Democrats. Again, Mike Bloomberg, the post-partisan plutocrat and technocrat, liked but difficult to love, is opposing a Democratic-machine candidate with a built-in ethnic base but little fund-raising prowess, whose campaign message revolves around painting the mayor as out of touch. In 2005, Freddy Ferrer lost to Bloomberg by nineteen points; the smart money, this time around, has always been that Bill Thompson will suffer the same fate. And yet, even after being outspent thirteen to one, Thompson is within ten points of Bloomberg in the polls. So how could he, improbably enough, win?
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