Then, last Friday, Becker/Buhler/Wilson were in a three-way tie.
So, how did Becker go on to win by 11 points?
From Day 1, Becker had built his campaign on doing the small and simple things, getting people out in neighborhoods, Getting himself out in neighborhoods, and utilizing small, simple, inexpensive, and yet effective methods to advertise. He had a strong group of supporters running around on Election Day. Becker's campaign was summed up by Glenden Brown over at One Utah:
I’ve been volunteering with this campaign since June - a lot of folks there last night have been volunteering since June. There were tears and cheers. There’s something about having been there for months, having walked precincts in July when it was 100 + degrees, having stood on street corners waving signs and seeing it pay off. The crowd you may have seen on TV or in the papers was cheering itself hoarse, clapping until everyone’s hands hurt. Once in a while, the right candidate comes along and Ralph Becker has been the right candidate - I have no idea how many people volunteered yesterday to do pollwatching, but everytime I was there I saw group of 15 or 20 people heading out to poll watch. Over the summer, I saw groups head out to walk precincts every time I was there - not just one or two people, but eight and ten people in a single evening or saturday morning.
Annother campaign that did a good job of this was the Buhler campaign. There was hardly an event in Salt Lake City that didn't have the Buhler people out in force with balloons, signs, and large life-sized cutouts of the candidate, and the candidate himself.
The two biggest spenders in the race this year are done campaigning. Christensen's Main Street office and lots of advertising didn't help him one bit. Likewise, Wilson's ad blitz just wasn't enough.
In the end, the grassroots were the real winner last night.
[edit 9/13/07 0027: as a commenter mentioned, I wrote wilson when I meant Becker, and things didn't make sense, unless you were smart enough to read what I meant, not what I wrote....]