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The odds are stacked against a healthy turnout at the polls for Tuesday’s primary election. First, it’s hard to get voters jazzed about contests that don’t always produce clear winners. And San Diego has the added challenge of election fatigue – didn’t we just do this? A couple times?

So political consultants Jennifer Tierney and Tom Shepard have adjusted their expectations and approaches accordingly. Tierney, who represents District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, City Council District 6 candidate Carol Kim and all four incumbent Superior Court judges, called this a “low information” election. “People are going to the polls with very limited information … and that’s common in primaries,” Tierney told Liam Dillon and me. “People make up their minds late, and they make up their minds with very little information to go on.”

Shepard, who consults for DA candidate Robert Brewer, County Supervisors Bill Horn and Ron Roberts and Carla Keehn, who’s running for Superior Court judge, emphasized one potential impact of decreased participation: “Low turnout will tend to exaggerate the effect of Republican votes.”

They both joined us on this week’s VOSD Radio podcast to chat about their clients’ races and the particular dynamics looming over next week’s election. Download the show below or check us out on iTunes and Stitcher.

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Show Notes

• We mentioned John Nienstedt’s widely cited projections that voter turnout would be in the teens. Turnout was expected to be so dismal, Nienstedt said, “it could damage the city’s psyche.” He’s since updated his blog with new numbers that paint a slightly cheerier picture.

• We’ve seen the District 2 City Council race between Lorie Zapf and Sarah Boot heat up. Here’s the fact check where we dug into that mailer claim from Zapf’s camp about Boot’s stance on the proposed Climate Action Plan’s retrofit mandate.

• Shepard was pretty pleased with his latest nickname, courtesy of the U-T San Diego: “sharpshooter.”

Catherine Green

Catherine Green was formerly the deputy editor at Voice of San Diego. She handled daily operations while helping to plan new long-term projects.

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