First and foremost, let me speak to the issue of credibility. Aside from my Alum' readership, every single regular contributor and friend of the blog hails allegiance to one of the two major Indie factions. There are minor factions as well - be very sure of this. However, these minor factions have succumbed to the ramifications of internal party strife - not seen in Indie cirlcles since the Spring 2005 term.
Minor factions have wrestled with the fact that they are not in a position to break into yet another viable faction and so, have compromised their stances and become mere tendencies of a larger, more pronounced organization - key tendencies from within the Progs would be best articulated by those wanting more revolutionary politics and a mor militant-SG. The leadership of the Progress Party, while possibly sympathetic to many of these worldly causes, has undergone sometimes subtle, sometimes rigid efforts aimed at keeping Dictor a viable alternative to McShera for many Indie moderates. So...I would say that a minor faction within Progress would be 'The Red & Blacks' championed by Justin Wooten. Let it be recorded for all [SG]history, that it was not Ben Dictor or Ben Dictor's charm that won the Progress Party this blog's endorsement, rather, it was the ideological perspectives and future-outlook of Justin Wooten. JW is the red, MT is the black, and JS is neither, but they're all Progress!.
The Orange & Blue Party's minor faction would be the The Pragmatists, of which I believe even Mark McShera could be categorized as being a part of. This faction, through failed attempts stretching even pre-12/11, seemed growingly resilient in its efforts at avoiding a split. Initially, 'the Progs' seemed open to talks with the stunning victory of Donte Hargrove, but even this bleak glimmer of hope soon faded, as Hargrove formally accepted the strengthened role of Party Chair Joe Trimboli (almost a pre-condition on his very election) , thereby substantially weakening the title he'd gain from outgoing Party President (& boss) Sam Mioreli. I believe, that the election of Hargrove drew a line between hardline-Official thought and a version of pragmatism willing to lose some power, in the hopes of saving the day. It's no secret McShera more than likely voted for Hargrove, but what does this say about the candidate and the structure of the party supporting him? Supporting or forcing? Today there is no question Mark wants the Presidency, but in Oct., Nov., and Dec. - it's a bit iffy.
(getting past that little preamble)....
I have Johnson winning the first round, similar to Joe Goldberg in '05, missing the win by less than 1-point. Forcing a run-off.
I predict a large turn-out election: 13,000 votes, of which I believe Jordan Johnson will receive between 6,000-6,500 votes; I believe O&B will come in a distant second with between 3,250 - 3,500 votes; Progress I believe will get between a low of 1,600 votes and a high of 2,100; independent/write-ins candidates will probably secure the remaining votes.
Not to be bested by Progress '05, I believe Progress '09 would not only not endorse Orange & Blue (staying silent per MM/Robert's incarnation) but endorse Unite/Johnson as a final vindication. Johnson/Unite, will more than likely offer piecemeal concessions through mid-level intermediaries and likely fail to give full faith and credit under a Johnson administration to any of the said offers come May 2009.
At this point, Dictor (like most defeated presidential candidates - e.g. Tommy Jardon, Dennis Ngin, Bruce Haupt, Jared Hernandez, Travis Marsh, etc) would either graduate and leave, fade away, or decide to hang up their prestigious SG credentials, opting for retirement and possibly living on as consultants for a carefully selected cadre of respective proteges.
It will be with Dictor's defeat (or McShera's) that we will see where th Independent movement will head post-election and into the new decade. I believe a JW/MT-led Progress would never marry Orange & Blue in the Fall of this year, then again it depends who's in the driver seat.
For O&B Trimboli is the driver (with Miorelli making the gear changes, Cavatero navigating (despite the fact the car comes with OnStar), Stacey Gray has been carefully buckeled into her baby-chair, and Hargrove's out behind in full force - pushing.) . In Progress Simmons is doing the driving, Dictor is doing the site-seeing, MT has leaned forward from the backseat to channel-surf the radio-dial, meanwhile JW & a group of SDS'ers push the car as it smokes by O&B at high speeds of 9mph - yes NINE MILES PER HOUR.