Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Rossi Campaign Cautiously Optimistic As Voter Count Continues

As of 11:57 PM, the Washington Secretary of State was reporting on its website Election Day results showing incumbent Senator Patty Murray leading challenger Dino Rossi by a razor slim margin of only 14,005 votes out of 1,430,787 counted.  At the end of the first day of counting, Murray has a lead of 50.49% to Rossi's 49.51%.  However, Rossi For Senate Campaign Manager Pat Shortridge issued a statement by Email late last night outlining some points that should have the Murray campaign sweating bullets:
  • Historically in Washington, the Republican candidates improve their percentages in each county in votes counted after Election Day, usually improving their margins by 2 to 3 percentage points.
  • King County, which is providing most of Sen. Murray’s margin, accounts for 30.7% of all registered voters in the state. According to County Election reports, King County only has 26.7% of the remaining ballots left to count. The rest of the state, where Rossi has a comfortable lead, will count proportionately more ballots post-Election Day.
  • Spokane County, where Rossi is currently in the lead by more than 50%, still has at least 21.6% of the remaining ballots left to process, with more coming in.
  • Rossi is currently leading in Pierce County by nearly 2,500 votes
  • According to the Secretary of State, there are still over 508,000 estimated ballots left to process statewide.
  • Again, we will know more over the next several days as ballots continue to come in and counties continue to count. We are confident that the margins we are seeing throughout Washington State, combined with the state legislative victories, will put Dino Rossi ahead by an overwhelming margin.
This election is not like previous statewide races that Rossi has run.  It is a midterm, off-Presidential cycle election.  These usually favor Republicans, that traditionally exhibit more faithful voting habits.  In addition, a Republican tidal wave is sweeping the nation, with Republicans gaining a solid majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Turnout in more conservative Washington districts is running above normal this year.  This trend is elevating Republican Party hopes, as Washington is poised to send a Republican majority of its Congressional Representatives back to D.C. come January.  Five of Washington's nine Congressional seats appear to be in Republican hands:
  • District 2 John Koster is leading his opponent 50.41% to 49.59%.  This is a Republican "gain".
  • District 3 Jaime Herrara is leading her opponent 52.92% to 47.08%.  This is a Republican "gain".
  • District 4 Doc Hastings is leading his opponent 68.31% to 31.69%.  This is a Republican "hold".
  • District 5 Cathy McMorris Rodgers is leading her opponent 64.51% to 35.49%.  This is a Republican "hold".
  • District 8 Congressman Dave Reichert is leading his opponent 55% to 45%, this is a Republican "hold".
Republican gains in west-side Congressional Districts are exceeding local Party expectations.  In addition, a number of voter initiatives regarding taxes have shown a conservative voting streak.  An initiative for a state income tax has gone down in flames, while another requiring a 2/3 majority of the state legislature to raise taxes appears to be passing.  In addition, a rollback of Democratic Party approved taxes on food and bottled water appeared to be passing as well.
While the race is still too close to call, it looks like we may be calling Dino Rossi our Senator very soon.


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