Nearly every single news story about Republican mayoral candidate Mark DeSantis includes what I refer to as the "inevitable disclaimer." At some point, every report invariably describes how Mr. DeSantis faces real challenges in this race. Phrases like "almost insurmountable" and "uphill climb" are often used, and we are reminded -- yet again and as if we hadn't already heard it hundreds of times before -- that Democrats outnumber Republicans five-to-one in the City of Pittsburgh (even though their voting advantage is usually less than three-to-one).
... [T]he biggest difference that I see between this year and all of the previous Republican failures is the nascent "Democrats for DeSantis" movement. I certainly never saw even the barest hint of "Democrats for Carmine" or "Democrats for Weinroth." I never saw any suggestion that anything but a token number of Democrats were willing to cross party lines and vote for the Republican candidate. But this time around, there seem to be a noteworthy number of local Democrats who are really dissatisfied with Luke Ravenstahl, and who were denied their chance to make their feelings known in the May primary. At least some of them are so dissatisfied that they are willing to give Mr. DeSantis some serious consideration, which is something that they never really did for Weinroth and Carmine. Indeed, the DeSantis campaign is so aware of this movement and its importance that their website includes an "I want to be a 'Democrat for DeSantis'" option when you sign up there.
... But you never would have seen a post like this one when Joe Weinroth was running against Bob O'Connor. And even when Mayor Tom Murphy was decidedly unpopular, there was no organized effort to bring Democratic voters into the Carmine camp.