That's not to say O'Toole and Galvin are throwback Old Boston hard-liners. (Although O'Toole is said to have signed a "defense-of-marriage amendment" petition, he is solidly in favor of same-sex marriage and has been for years.)

Nevertheless, six of the 13 City Council seats could go to Irish-American men, although only 16 percent of Bostonians are Irish-American, according to the 2010 Census. Just three councilors, or less than a quarter, would be black or Hispanic, in this city where only 47 percent of the population is white non-Hispanics.

And if Pressley is the one who loses the at-large race, the council could be without a woman for the first time since 1973.

Those results may not look like Boston, but that's not surprising if most of Boston doesn't even realize there's an election going on.

To read the Talking Politics blog, go to thePhoenix.com/talkingpolitics. Follow David S. Bernstein on Twitter @dbernstein.

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