All eyes now on Republican vote in Guam delegate runoff race

Ron McNinch during the Rotary Club of Northern Guam meeting. (PNC photo)

Although the Republicans lost in the Guam delegate race, they also won.

This according to noted political analyst Ron McNinch who was the featured speaker in the Rotary Club of Northern Guam meeting today.

According to McNinch, the Guam GOP is also a winner in the delegate’s race because they have now assumed the role of kingmaker.

Incumbent Congressman Michael San Nicolas topped the Guam delegate race with 13,000 votes followed by fellow Democrat Dr. Robert Underwood at 9,300 votes and Republican Wil Castro at 5,942.

But because no candidate got the 50 percent plus 1 vote necessary to win, a runoff between San Nicolas and Underwood will now be held on Nov. 17.

“There’s a Japanese proverb that says losing is winning. So I say that the Republicans also won because now they can decide who would be the delegate. They can say we want Underwood, or we want San Nicolas. And they can throw their weight behind their choice,” McNinch said.

He added that San Nicolas topped the delegate’s race most likely because a lot of older voters did not vote.

“That’s why San Nicolas did better than Underwood. If older voters had voted, Robert Underwood would have been first and it would have been Mike San Nicolas second. But because so many younger voters voted, we ended up having San Nicolas first. In a runoff scenario, we’ll see where it goes,” the UOG professor said.

McNinch said the coming runoff is going to be very heated and unlike any other election Guam has ever seen.

“We don’t have runoffs normally. But I believe in runoff elections because I think they’re very healthy. I think both our delegate and our governor’s races should not be primaries, they should be runoff elections. They are just that healthy for us in general. I think that there are great opportunities to see a contrast between two candidates in a runoff scenario,” McNinch said.

With the runoff now limited to just two candidates, McNinch said this is like having a clean slate, or, as they say in the academic world — “tabula rasa.”

“You start all over again, and both candidates are equal plus-minus and sideways, and all the negatives and positives and pluses and minuses will come out in this intense two-week period,” McNinch said.

He added that the Nov. 17 runoff will be a much simpler election because there are only two candidates running.

“It will be a one bubble race, very fast to vote in. In the end, it will also be a very simple race to count. There’s only one office and one point to count. The result will definitely come out faster than Tuesday’s general election,” McNinch concluded.