The people have spoken ... the bastards.
Needless to say I find the Times' analysis an exercise in the pundit's fallacy. The most likely explanation for why Mike McGinn won a low turnout election is ... the McGinn campaign worked harder. Joe Mallahan tried to buy the election via establishment endorsements and high-priced advertising. He was outdone by a tremendous volunteer effort. Should we really be surprised that this happened in a low-turnout election, given what Carol Shea-Porter was able to do in New Hampshire, and what Barack Obama did in caucus states and small states?