Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Primary Returns

Update: The Governor's race is doner than done. Chris Gregiore will be our champion in the race against Dino Rossi. She's bright, competent, a proven statewide winner. We're in excellent hands for the General Election.

Deborah Senn has pulled ahead in the AG race, on the basis of a significant advantage in eastern Washington (she's up 10,000 votes in Spokane County alone). Votes out of King County (that's Seattle & the burbs to out of towners - the big dog in Demcratic elections) are painfully slow coming in, but Sidran continues to lead here, as well as in Snohomish and Kitsap, and Pierce County (Tacoma) is a dead heat. It's certainly possible that returns from these more populous western Washington counties make a Sidran win possible. This could end up in the late absentees from King County, or it could fade fast.

The slow count is affecting the 8th CD race as well, where the percentages haven't really changed, but then, the vote counts haven't, either. King County has to find a way to pick up the pace.

Don Barbieri is holding his own. He's only showing about 40% of the total vote cast, but he's handily out polling the leading Republican and their three way primary was bound to get more ballot action than the Democratic race. It's always going to be nip and tuck for a Democrat in the 5th, but he's coming out of the race unbloodied and poised to run strong for November.

Patty Murray's holding a hundred thousand vote edge over George Nethercutt which means the partisan ballot selection numbers still show a strong statewide advantage for the Democrats, but it's a little confusing since the Secretary of State's office is showing 7 million votes in lil' ol' Mason County. They must be counting slugs, squirrels and pine cones to get those number....somebody's got to fix that, too.

****

Well, there are some early results for the Primary. King County's first release represents about 40% of the absentee ballots returned. In the first Washington Primary requiring partisan ID on the ballot, 72% of the early King County absentees are Democratic ballots, which is a pretty sure sign of an energized base. So that's good news...

Less good, I guess, are some of the early returns for some Upper Left endorsees. Alex Alben is running third in the 8th CD, with 21%. Radio talker Dave Ross entered the race with an overwhelming edge in name ID, and his 51% shows it right now. Heidi Behrens-Benedict is polling 27%.

There's some hope, I guess, for Alex. These are real early numbers and he's been on TV a lot in the last couple weeks, has locked up all the relevant newspaper endorsements and could do much better with polling place voters, but it's definitely uphill.

In the Governor's race, Ron Sims is quickly proving that advocating tax reform is a political death sentence in Washington. He's polling a scant 29% to Chris Gregiore's 67% in the county he's been the Chief Executive of for the last several years, and the early statewide numbers have him at 25%.

His tax proposal was bold, put a critical issue on the agenda and earned him my endorsement and vote, but this outcome was quite predictable, and I expect similar numbers to hold throughout the night.

Better news in the Attorney General's race, where Upper Left's pick, Mark Sidran, has a 53-46% lead on Deborah Senn in King County, and is holding onto a 51-49% early lead statewide. Mark's also picked up a lot of print endorsements and good media in the last couple weeks and could fare well in the election day ballot boxes. This is one to watch...

Notable, too, are the statewide numbers in the U.S. Senate race. Neither Senator Patty Murray nor challenger George Nethercutt had meaningful Primary challengers, so this is largely a measure of their ability to motivate their base to turn out, and Patty's burying Nethercutt 2-1 according to the Secretary of State's office, which has the first returns at 112,196 for Murray vs. 54,008 for Nethercutt.

Looks like you did it, folks.

Washington's all lit up bright blue tonight!

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