The articles sounding the death-knell of the progressive candidates seem to forget the fact that we have ranked-choice voting and a growing population who vote first along ethnic lines.
First, I think that Beyond Chron's analysis that the progressive vote is too fractured for a progressive to win it all is wrong. I think quite the opposite - I think the split on the moderate side is so fractured that it creates an opening for the top progressive candidate to hang on long enough to pick up the #2 and #3 votes of all the other progressives who get eliminated first.
The moderate group is pretty evenly split among Moss, Sweet, Cohen, and Enea, and unlike on the progressive side, I see all of them getting an equally (within 10-20%) strong showing compared to one another. They'll stay in the rounds of elimination until close to the bitter end, while the candidates getting knocked out along the way will slowly add more and more to the top progressive's totals, and not as much to theirs. Remember, Marlene Tran has suggested her supporters pick Tony Kelly as their #2. Tran deservedly commands a huge amount of respect in the Chinese community, and her word will be heeded by many. Of course, the more conservative bent of many Chinese voters means that many will ignore Tran and throw their support behind the moderates, but again, their votes get split, although Moss probably comes out ahead here because of, sad to say, racial reasons, despite Sweet trying hard to woo these voters.
I've also been hearing a lot of grumbling about Moss, Cohen, and Sweet for their various alleged and confirmed transgressions, lack of experience, and general knowledge gaps. Although anectodal, people looking for a moderate who has a voting record on important land-use issues, but who is otherwise untainted, are looking to Enea, and she may very well come up the middle here.
The above all said, Moss could still pull this out. In running so hard against him in their reporting, the Bay Guardian may have shot progressives and all other, more palatable moderates in the foot, steering moderate voters to rebel and vote for Moss en masse out of pure spite. Moss has done a good job of working the 'poor me, the Guardian is out to get me' angle. He can tell his supporters and those on the fence that he's done all he can to placate them, but they still keep coming after him. Poor Steve. What they've ended up doing is rally his base, as it were, and galvanized his supporters against the progressives in the race. They've given him nearly daily press coverage that he couldn't have gotten in his own paper. He's played the Guardian like a fiddle, and will have them as much as Coates and all the anti-tenant forces for his victory, should he win.