Do We Really Care What Mark Ruffalo Thinks About Our Election?

The Incredible Hulk is the latest to endorse Helen Gym. Plus, the big new poll is a doozy.

actor mark ruffalo, who has endorsed helen gym for mayor of philadelphia

Actor Mark Ruffalo, who has endorsed Helen Gym for mayor. (Ruffalo photo via Getty Images; Gym photo courtesy of Helen Gym for Mayor)

Check each morning for the latest edition of Philly Today. And if you have a news tip for our hardworking Philly Mag reporters, please send it here.

Do We Really Care What Mark Ruffalo Thinks About Helen Gym?

It seems not a day goes by without us receiving an email from Helen Gym’s campaign, gushing about her latest endorsement. There have been a bunch, from the American Federation of Teachers to Boston Mayor Michelle Wu to the Amistad Power Movement to the Asian American Action Fund. Gym’s team has announced more than 40 endorsements. And on Thursday, they were banging on their endorsement drum yet again.

This time around, Hollywood celebrity Mark Ruffalo jumped into the ring for Gym. Yes, the guy who played the Incredible Hulk in some movies says you should vote for Gym for mayor.

Reads the statement from the Gym campaign:

“Helen has been taking on big fights and delivering real solutions for decades — like when she organized with parents and local leaders to ensure safe drinking water in every public school,” said actor Mark Ruffalo. “Children and teachers deserve drinkable water, safe classrooms, and a sustainable future worth fighting for. Only Helen has proposed a Green New Deal for Philadelphia Schools. That makes Helen Gym the right choice for Philadelphia’s next Mayor.”

Okay, Mark. I’m not saying Helen Gym isn’t the right choice for mayor. I haven’t made up my mind yet, though I am slowly whittling down my list. (See ya, Jeff Brown.) But what the voters really want to know is how the next mayor is going to solve our raging homicide problem. They want to know how the trash-strewn streets will be cleaned up. And what do you know about any of that, Mark?

Some supporters applauded Ruffalo’s tweet endorsing Gym. Others on Twitter had things like this to say:

“When was the last time you visited Philadelphia, Mark?”

“Are you voting in this election? If not, you’re like all the other ‘outsiders’ that grift for her, you make her that much more detestable.”

“Mark, you live in the Catskills … not Philadelphia. Understand you are a huge climate justice advocate, but please stay out of local politics. Climate isn’t the only thing that those who live in Philly worry about.”

Next thing you know, the Helen Gym campaign is going to be trotting out frigging Jane Fonda. Oh, right, they already did that. At least she won an Oscar. (But you were good in Spotlight, Mark!)

According to the Latest Major Poll, the Next Philadelphia Mayor Will Be … Uh …

This is where I’m supposed to tell you that the big scientific poll everybody has been talking about just came out and that Person X or Person Y is winning or that it’s a dead heat between Person X and Person Y. I can’t do that.

Oh, the poll is out. But it’s not all that helpful. The independent poll shows that the five viable candidates remaining (sorry, Amen Brown, but you’re officially off that list after your tragic gaffe at Tuesday’s debate, as if you weren’t off that list before) are more or less tied, when you take into account the margins of error.

If you look at the straight-up numbers, Rebecca Rhynhart wins. But once you crunch the numbers with that margin of error, anybody could be the winner. Rhynhart also wins in the unscientific poll that’s designed to show who the winner would be if we had ranked-choice voting. Rhynhart, who’s been endorsed by former mayors Nutter, Rendell and Street, and the Inquirer, has to be feeling pretty good right now. But the election isn’t until May 16th. And a lot can happen between now and then.

[Correction: This piece originally reported, incorrectly, that Mayor Kenney had endorsed Rebecca Rhynhart.]

Some key takeaways from the scientific poll, as quoted from the poll synopsis:

    • Rhynhart finishes first, with 19 percent of the vote. Among white voters, Rhynhart leads with 29 percent, five points ahead of the next-strongest candidate in this group of voters, Helen Gym; among men, she leads with 21 percent, five points better than she does among women and four points ahead of the next candidates. Rhynhart also holds meaningful leads among higher-income voters; she finishes five points ahead of Gym in Center City, where she dominates, and among the youngest voters.
    • Parker takes 17 percent, with a strong lead among Latino voters (31 percent, twice that of any other candidate), in the Northwest part of the city (28 percent), and among Black voters (25 percent, 10 points atop Jeff Brown). If Black or Latino voters turn out at higher rates than shown here, Parker may overtake Rhynhart and win the nomination. Parker also leads all candidates among 50-to-64-year-olds and is well ahead of Rhynhart among conservatives and moderates.
    • Gym is at 16 percent, with a strong lead among those voters who say they are “very liberal,” where she takes 40 percent, 15 points ahead of Rhynhart. Gym also outperforms her numbers among white voters and upper-income voters, groups where she finishes just four to five points behind Rhynhart, which complicates the turnout mathematics for the former Controller. Gym also is ahead among the nine percent of voters who tell SurveyUSA they have already voted; she takes 20 percent of those banked votes.
    • Domb is at 15 percent, with small leads over Parker among conservatives and moderates and a significant advantage in Northeast Philly. He also leads among voters with high-school diplomas.
    • Jeff Brown takes 12 percent, outperforming that number among the oldest voters and among conservatives, those with high-school educations, and those who have attended some college. He also is doing well in the early vote, where he has 17 percent, slightly behind Gym.
    • State Representative Amen Brown, pastor Warren Bloom Sr., and former municipal judge James DeLeon each take two percent of the vote; 15 percent of likely voters remain undecided.

Can Trump’s Successful Impeachment Lawyer Help Bam Margera?

I’ve been tired of talking about Bam Margera for a few years now, although my 17-year-old son recently discovered Jackass, much to his mother’s dismay. But I have to admit to snickering once in a while. (He recently said of my hair loss, “Daddy, in Jackass, a bunch of the guys make a beard out of their pubic hair. Maybe they could make a wig for you.” Great.)

Anyway, you probably know by now that Margera was wanted by police for allegedly hitting his brother (and allegedly doing other naughty things) at the family’s posh West Chester digs before fleeing into the nearby woods. Well, Margera turned himself in on Thursday. And whom did he retain as counsel? Michael van der Veen (a Temple grad!), a.k.a. the lawyer who successfully defended Donald Trump at his second impeachment trial. Van der Veen memorably mispronounced Philadelphia at one point during the saga.

For some comic relief amid all this nonsense, here’s Pete Davidson impersonating Van der Veen on Saturday Night Live:

By the Numbers

0: Days of the next eight that will see temperatures reach the 70s. So much for global warming, amirite?!

30: New trees on Chester Avenue in Philadelphia’s Africatown section, thanks to an initiative to bring more greenery to areas that need it.

15,000: Petition signatures opposing the proposed new Sixers arena delivered to City Hall on Thursday. An additional 3,300 postcards expressing opposition to the arena were delivered as well.

18,000,000 to one against: Chances I’m staying up until 1:37 a.m. to catch the latest episode of Jeopardy, which is airing in the middle of the night because 6 ABC is carrying the NFL draft.

6: Gallons of a dangerous drug nicknamed “coma in a bottle” seized by border patrol agents in Philadelphia. The GBL (an essential ingredient in GHB, the so-called “date rape drug”) was headed from Europe to an address in Florida.

And from the Hang-in-There Sports Desk …

There were nine outs in a row to start yesterday afternoon’s Phils game, before Nick Castellano and Kody Clemens singles in the third gave the Fightin’s a 1-0 lead. The Mariners got nothin’ but a double and a single off starter Matt Strahm — well, he did hit a batter and earned himself a balk — through the fifth.  In the sixth, Seranthony came in and settled things back down. It was Connor Brogdon in the seventh, but after he gave up a two-out single, it was Gregory Soto’s turn. Soto walked the ever-dangerous Jarred Kelenic, so there were men on first and second, but Tom Murphy lined out. Man, the bullpen has really locked it down of late.

Did we mention it was Seniors Stroll the Bases Day?

In the eighth, Soto walked Jose Caballero but got J.P. Crawford to hit into a double play and struck out Julio Rodriguez. In the Phils’ half, Bryson Stott landed a two-out single but got caught stealing; end of that! It was Craig Kimbrel in for the ninth, and he mowed the Mariners down, one-two-three. Whee!

The Phils kick off a three-game away stand vs. the Astros tonight with an 8:10 start, followed by a 5:10 game Saturday and a 7:10 game on Sunday.

Are you one of those people who watch the NFL draft breathlessly? Not me. I find it like watching paint dry.

Except for the moms. I do love the moms. But in case you didn’t watch and you’re curious, the Eagles, who had the 10th and 30th picks in the first round, traded up a spot with Chicago and then took Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter as the ninth pick — because Philly needs more Jalens. Carter’s a somewhat controversial pick because of his presence at a car crash that killed two people. Loved the suit, though!

And with the 30th pick? It was Georgia’s Nolan Smith, a linebacker. Should work out well with Carter!

In case you were wondering whom the Sixers would face in the second round of the NBA playoffs, the Celtics finally managed to finish off the Hawks last night, 128-120, for a 4-2 close to their series. So the bad news is, it’s the Celts. The good news? It’s not Trae Young. Joel’s knee, please heal fast. First game is Monday night.

All Philly Today Sports Desk coverage is provided by Sandy Hingston.