The Moderate Washingtonian

Outlook on politics and elections in the state of Washington from an overall centrist viewpoint. My views tend to be libertarian in nature, but at the same time are largely nonpartisan.

28 November 2006

Follow-up on 6th: recount coming

With Spokane County having counted all their absentee ballots and finalizing numbers later today, Rep. John Serben did indeed reach the threshold required for a state-financed machine recount in his 6th district House race against Democrat Don Barlow. The pre-recount numbers:

Don Barlow [D] 26,226 (50.249%)
John Serben [R] 25,966 (49.751%)

That's a pretty tight finish, but consider what this post at Washblog points out. Now, I don't personally consider undervotes as part of the percentages, but still, if one vote is taken from Serben's total then he falls statistically outside the 0.5% spread required for a recount. Not that he wouldn't have probably financed his own or anything, but it is an odd statistic.

19 November 2006

6th district House seat still too close to call

It appears that incumbent GOP Rep. John Serben [R-Mead] might not have been picked off by the coattails of Maria Cantwell and Chris Marr after all. He had been losing by a modest margin on election night and has been behind through each new count, but has crept closer and closer to the lead of presumed Democratic victor Don Barlow. The current numbers show Barlow's lead down to 327 votes, a 50.32% to 49.68% lead. Spokane County claims to have about 3500 votes remaining, and since not all of them are going to be from the 6th district it looks like Barlow will hold on. However, that lead may well be subject to a state-mandated machine recount, if the end margin between the candidates is 0.5% or less. As we all should have learned by now, however, Serben could easily request and finance a recount of his own, though by this time I don't quite see the point of doing so. Barlow will be hard-pressed to hold that seat in two years, as-is.

15 November 2006

Senate appointment news

While ex-Rep. Brian Hatfield [D-Raymond] seems to be the likely appointee to Sen. Mark Doumit's seat in the 19th district after easily winning the PCO popularity contest, the race to replace Sen. Alex Deccio [R-Yakima] is much more wide open. Three candidates have already entered the fray: businessman Curtis King, attorney Al Schweppe, and ex-county Democratic Chair but now Republican businessman Joe Walkenhauer. However, the Yakima GOP is waiting to hear from recently-departed Rep. Jim Clements [R-Selah] to see if he's interested in seeking the appointment. While he would probably win the appointment if he wants it, Clements doesn't seem too keen on it so far. Putting on my best Takeshi Kaga hat, if memory serves me right, Clements disavowed any appointment to the Senate when Deccio was seeking appointment to the Eastern Washington Growth Management Hearings Board (which was ultimately won by Sen. Joyce Mulliken) and Clements was announcing his retirement from the House. I think he's going to stay out, and among the current trio, my gut says King would win it.

14 November 2006

Senator Brown to lead Democrats next session

Senator Lisa Brown [D-Spokane] has been reelected as the chamber's Democratic leader, along with Senator Harriet Spanel [D-Bellingham] as Democratic Caucus Chair and Senator Tracey Eide [D-Federal Way] as Democratic Floor Leader. No word yet if Senator Debbie Regala [D-Tacoma] will stay on as Democratic Whip, or what the drastically-reduced Republican Caucus leadership will look like. I will say this, while I'm well aware that this was going to be a bad Senate cycle for the Republicans with or without the wave, if they keep Mike Hewitt as their leader next session then they clearly haven't learned their electoral lesson. Change it up, guys.

13 November 2006

Annual Post Election Event tomorrow

I received an email tip about this annual discussion hosted by the Evergreen Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration and the UW Evans School of Public Affairs and would like to help spread the word. The flyer is located here, with the time and location of the Event. Former Seattle Mayor Norm Rice will be the master of ceremonies, and from what I hear, attendees of all ideological stripes will be welcome.

11 November 2006

Dunn pulls ahead in 17th

Via The Columbian via a heads-up from Jack Burkman, incumbent Rep. Jim Dunn [R] has taken a small lead over surprise Democratic challenger Pat Campbell. Campbell had held a small lead up until now, and still shows a lead at the Secretary of State website, though the article cites numbers with about 5,000 more votes counted than the latest update with the Secretary of State. Dunn is a perennially-endangered legislator and has lost reelection in the past. He was likely to lose this year, as far as I had predicted, to Mr. Burkman before Campbell won the Democratic primary as a result of Republican crossovers. If Dunn does indeed hold on as the article predicts, I hope to see him defeated in 2008 after a history of being an ineffective legislator and having a very conservative voting record.

09 November 2006

Democrats back in Spokane

I just wanted to make a quick post here about the apparent Democratic resurgence in Spokane County. While I think much of it probably has to do with trickle-down from major races where Republicans are unpopular, there is something to be said for their success in their own right. I had already pointed out that soon-to-be Sen. Chris Marr had busted history in the jaw in Ross Hunter-like fashion, but aside from that we also saw Maria Cantwell win Spokane in her reelection campaign, Don Barlow currently leading John Serben for Spokane's suburban state House seat, and Democrats winning all the county offices they seriously contested, and perhaps one they did not so seriously contest. This is what happened in the county office races:

Commissioner: Bonnie Mager beats senior GOP Commissioner Phil Harris 53-47.
Assessor: Judy Personett leads incumbent Assessor Ralph Baker 50.3-49.7%, when she was not expected to seriously contest for the seat.
Auditor: Incumbent Democrat Vicky Dalton wins with 2/3 of the vote.
Clerk: Incumbent Republican Thomas Fallquist wins unopposed.
Prosecutor: Incumbent Republican Steve Tucker wins easily.
Sheriff: Incumbent Republican Ozzie Knezovich wins easily.
Treasurer: Former Commissioner Skip Chilberg makes comeback over Republican Bob Wrigley, 58-42.

Considering that the Democratic candidates in the prosucuting attorney and sheriff races were sacrificial lambs, they were able to win all the spots they really targeted, and I'm very surprised to see Personett on the verge of victory in the assessor race. This newfound success won't last, but in the short term Spokane Democrats can finally celebrate.

More House

You know the drill.

Too close to call
10th LD, Barbara Bailey [R] leads (28 votes now)
17th LD, Pat Campbell [D] leads
28th LD, Troy Kelley [D] leads
39th LD, Dan Kristiansen [R] leads

Democrat advantage
6th LD, Don Barlow leads
23rd LD, Christine Rolfes leads
24th LD, Kevin Van de Wege leads
31st LD, Christopher Hurst leads
45th LD, Roger Goodman leads

Republican advantage
2nd LD, Jim McCune leads
18th LD, Ed Orcutt leads
31st LD, Dan Roach leads
41st LD, Fred Jarrett leads
42nd LD, Doug Ericksen leads

New apparent wins
18th LD, Richard Curtis [R]
20th LD, Richard DeBolt [R]
26th LD, Larry Seaquist [D]
28th LD, Tami Green [D]
30th LD, Skip Priest [R]*

*Let me add that I think this largely underscores what an effective legislator Skip Priest has been. His margin of victory has grown with each election, even as the Democratic legislators in the 30th won landslides. In order to accomplish a 15-point victory this year, he had to count on the support of a vast majority of Independents and a sizable minority of Democrats, being, from what I've seen, the only swing district Republican incumbent whose result ran completely contrary to this year's norm.

08 November 2006

More absentees counted [Senate]

Looks like we're beginning to get a clearer picture of some of the close races in the legislature now. I broke down those Leading races from earlier today into separate categories, in order to more easily track vote movement.

Too close to call
31st LD, Pam Roach [R] leads
42nd LD, Dale Brandland [R] leads
47th LD, Claudia Kauffman [D] leads

Democrat advantage
44th LD, Steve Hobbs leads
45th LD, Eric Oemig leads
48th LD, Rodney Tom leads

New apparent wins
6th LD, Chris Marr [D]
30th LD, Tracey Eide [D]

House returns thus far

Similarly to the Senate, many House races surprisingly tilted hard to the Democrats that were supposed to be close, and a handful of races have tight margins that weren't on the radar. As I did with the Senate, here's what's happening in some of the House races at the moment.

Apparently Won
John Ahern [R-6th]
Sherry Appleton [D-23rd]
Tom Campbell [R-2nd]
Bruce Chandler [R-15th]
Judy Clibborn [D-41st]
Hans Dunshee [D-44th]
Deb Eddy [D-48th]
Bill Eickmeyer [D-35th]
Mark Ericks [D-1st]
Bill Grant [D-16th]
Kathy Haigh [D-35th]
Steve Hailey [R-9th]
Ross Hunter [D-48th]
Pat Lantz [D-26th]
Kelli Linville [D-42nd]
John Lovick [D-44th]
Joyce McDonald [R-25th]
Mark Miloscia [D-30th]
Dawn Morrell [D-25th]
Dan Newhouse [R-15th]
Charles Ross [R-14th]
Lynn Schindler [R-4th]
Geoff Simpson [D-47th]
Mary Skinner [R-14th]
Larry Springer [D-45th]
Pat Sullivan [D-47th]
Bob Sump [R-7th]
Deb Wallace [D-17th]
Maureen Walsh [R-16th]

Barbara Bailey [R-10th] -- by 5 votes at the moment
Don Barlow [D-6th]
Pat Campbell [D-17th]
Richard Curtis [R-18th]
Richard DeBolt [R-20th]
Doug Ericksen [R-42nd]
Roger Goodman [D-45th]
Tami Green [D-28th]
Christopher Hurst [D-31st]
Fred Jarrett [R-41st]
Troy Kelley [D-28th]
Dan Kristiansen [R-39th] -- by 19 votes at the moment
Jim McCune [R-2nd]
Ed Orcutt [R-18th]
Skip Priest [R-30th]
Dan Roach [R-31st]
Christine Rolfes [D-23rd]
Larry Seaquist [D-26th]
Kevin Van de Wege [D-24th]

I think it's pretty obvious that the Washington Republican Party has hit rock bottom. Aside from their handful of strong candidates in statewide offices, they have absolutely no bench and Democrats are going to have a huge majority in both houses. This will be a key test for Gregoire and her party. They must resist temptation to continue to hike taxes and spending or risk this becoming another 1992. Even though they won't have to, working in a bipartisan manner and trying to govern from the centre can keep them in power a long time, but it's a challenge when your party has the numbers to do whatever you want. Gregoire will still have a challenging reelection campaign, and we know Republicans will be chomping at the bit to enact Dino's Revenge, but in the short-term at least, we will have solid one-party rule at the statehouse.

Senate returns, some surprises

With current returns from the Secretary of State's office, this is how the Senate is beginning to shape up:

Apparently Won
Jean Berkey [D-38th]
Jerome Delvin [R-8th]
Darlene Fairley [D-32nd]
Rosa Franklin [D-29th]
Janéa Holmquist [R-13th]
Jim Honeyford [R-15th]
Ken Jacobsen [D-46th]
Karen Keiser [D-33rd]
Derek Kilmer [D-26th]
Adam Kline [D-37th]
Jeanne Kohl-Welles [D-36th]
Bob Morton [R-7th]
Ed Murray [D-43rd]
Erik Poulsen [D-34th]
Tim Sheldon [D-35th]
Paull Shin [D-21st]

Dale Brandland [R-42nd]
Tracey Eide [D-30th]
Steve Hobbs [D-44th]
Claudia Kauffman [D-47th]
Chris Marr [D-6th]
Eric Oemig [D-45th]
Pam Roach [R-31st]
Rodney Tom [D-48th]

If these results hold, it will mean a gain of six seats for the Democratic Party for a sizable 32-17 majority. Still quite a few votes to count, especially in King, but it was clearly a Democratic night, as predicted.

06 November 2006

Last-minute SurveyUSA: 8th neck-and-neck

It's their closest one of all, 49-49. Burner still leads among the ~2/5 who have voted and Reichert among the ~3/5 who haven't, I still have a Reichert victory but if he doesn't get all his people out tomorrow, looks like he might actually lose. The rain certainly won't help his cause.

House election prediction

In the final coverage I intend to do until votes begin to be counted, the following is my predictions and commentary on what I believe to be our twenty most closely-contested state House races. These are more difficult to call than the Senate predictions, as a result of more contests and generally less coverage in the mainstream media. However, I gave it my best shot, and as always, feedback is welcome and appreciated. Unfortunately, due to time constraints I won't have time to write a paragraph for each race or upload pictures. I need to get some sleep before waking up to watch returns tonight.

1. 24th District:
Kevin Van De Wege [D] 53%
Jim Buck [R] 47%

2. 23rd District:
Christine Rolfes [D] 51%
Beverly Woods [R] 49%

3. 28th District #2:
Tami Green [D] 51%
Bob Lawrence [R] 49%

4. 31st District #2:
Jan Shabro [R] 51%
Christopher Hurst [D] 49%

5. 26th District #1:
Pat Lantz [D] 53%
Beckie Krantz [R] 47%

6. 45th District #1:
Jeff Possinger [R] 53%
Roger Goodman [D] 47%

7. 17th District #1:
Jim Dunn [R] 54%
Pat Campbell [D] 46%

8. 14th District:
Charles Ross [R] 54%
Ron Bonlender [D] 46%

9. 48th District:
Deb Eddy [D] 54%
Bret Olson [R] 46%

10. 35th District:
Bill Eickmeyer [D] 54%
Randy Neatherlin [R] 46%

11. 45th District #2:
Larry Springer [D] 55%
Tim Lee [R] 45%

12. 17th District #2:
Deb Wallace [D] 55%
Paul Harris [R] 45%

13. 28th District #1:
Don Anderson [R] 55%
Troy Kelley [D] 45%

14. 6th District:
Jon Serben [R] 56%
Don Barlow [D] 44%

15. 26th District #2:
Larry Seaquist [D] 56%
Ron Boehme [R] 44%

16. 42nd District:
Doug Ericksen [R] 56%
Jasper Macslarrow [D] 44%

17. 31st District #1:
Dan Roach [R] 57%
Karen Willard [D] 43%

18. 47th District #2:
Pat Sullivan [D] 57%
Andrew Franz [R] 43%

19. 47th District #1:
Geoff Simpson [D] 58%
Donna Watts [R] 42%

20. 38th District:
John McCoy [D] 59%
Kim Halvorson [R] 41%

Again, I apologize for being unable to explain how I came to these conclusions at this time. Considering that many of these races are localized, I think any of the predicted losers of these 20 races could feasibly win in the end, if the ball bounces correctly for their campaign.

Senate election prediction

As promised, though later than I intended due to losing power and Blogger's autosave not functioning correctly, below are my predictions for what I believe will be our ten most closely-contested state Senate races. Consistent with what I've been predicting all along, I expect the Democrats to win most of the close contests and have a large majority next session. Much of this is due to which seats are up this cycle for Republicans, but they are also to blame for a lack of inspiring candidates. Hopefully they will begin to figure out that they need to run centrists in the swing districts to compete with Democrats, who have long since figured out that necessity.

1. 26th District: I’m aware that the 26th Legislative District is arguably the state’s most closely-divided swing district and this is an open Senate seat. However, I believe so strongly in Derek Kilmer’s campaign that I believe it to be the most likely seat to change party hands this Senate cycle. In only one term in the House, Kilmer has firmly established himself as one of the Legislature’s most centrist and fiscally-conservative Democrats. He drew the tougher challenger in Jim Hines, but he’s raised four times as much and spent nearly every dime of it. I not only feel confident to predict there will be a Senator Kilmer next session, but when the time comes around for Norm Dicks to retire from Congress, I predict he will be replaced by Derek Kilmer.

Derek Kilmer [D] 55%
Jim Hines [R] 45%

2. 48th District: I know this is the “race of the year” for the Legislature, and considering how well-publicized it has been and that both candidates have raised over $300,000 in running for the seat, I feel as sure as ever that Rodney Tom will emerge with the victory. Much has been made about the suburban crescent trending towards the Democrats, and while I think that has more to do with the fact that the Democratic Party is leaps and bounds ahead of the Republican Party in tailoring candidate ideologies to the district they’re running in than any particular affinity for the Democratic label, this race truly underscores that point. Nine times out of ten, Senator Esser tows the conservative line. In a district where the then-liberal Republican Tom was barely able to edge a nobody opponent for reelection, Esser should be DOA. His money changes that, but Tom still has a far clearer path to victory.

Rodney Tom [D] 53%
Luke Esser [R] 47%

3. 6th District: For the record, I predicted Laurie Dolan would beat Brad Benson in 2004, only to lose by a slim margin. Benson’s victory then was in spite of being at a financial disadvantage, and as hesitant as I am to make the same mistake twice, I simply cannot predict him to win reelection to a full term being at an even larger financial disadvantage to an even better opponent. Democrat Chris Marr won’t win by much, but I’m confident he will break the generations-old losing streak of the 6th District Democratic Party.

Chris Marr [D] 52%
Brad Benson [R] 48%

4. 47th District: I wouldn’t be so down on this race if the Republicans had nominated a good candidate. Considering that not long ago this seat was somewhere between a Republican leaner and solidly Republican, the idea of soon having an all-Democratic Legislative delegation is rather surprising. Claudia Kauffman I do not believe to be on the same candidate quality plane as comparable Democratic candidates this cycle, but against an unknown Mike Riley with far more money, she is unlikely to lose the race.

Claudia Kauffman [D] 52%
Mike Riley [R] 48%

5. 31st District: Pam Roach defeated Yvonne Ward in 2002 by about 3% of the vote, in a year favourable to Republicans and without any other real contested races in the district. This year, both House races ought to be close and Democrats will generally be favoured in tight races. I believe Ward will be the beneficiary of enough vote movement to win this race, though I expect it to be a very close result in the end. Roach for many years has been a controversial figure, and this may well be the end of the road. Still, she’s spent most of her tenure in the Senate looking for opportunities to win other offices, so this should free up enough time for her to continue pursuing them.

Yvonne Ward [D] 51%
Pam Roach [R] 49%

6. 45th District: In spite of Democrat Eric Oemig’s huge fundraising numbers, I have had and still have my bet on Rep. Toby Nixon to win this seat, being vacated by Sen. Bill Finkbeiner. Nixon is ideologically in-tune with the district, has the name recognition advantage from his two terms in the House, and in turn has the experience to match. I fear that Oemig might be a little liberal for the 45th, which does elect moderate Democrats on occasion but I find unlikely to choose him over a moderate Republican like Nixon. Oemig’s experience in the tech industry is enough to bring in big bucks and proves he’s a credible candidate, but I don’t think he can avoid the electoral Whammy.

Toby Nixon [R] 52%
Eric Oemig [D] 48%

7. 44th District: The dark horse for the SDCC this year is Steve Hobbs in the 44th district, and even then it would not be a big surprise if he wins. The 44th nominally leans Democratic, and a moderate Democrat like Hobbs makes for an even stronger candidate. However, I believe incumbent Sen. Dave Schmidt will probably be reelected by a slight margin in the end. Between his one Senate win and four House wins, he has proven a consistent bet despite the district’s partisan lean. The one thing that might work against his reelection is his apparent interest in an open Snohomish County auditor position when Bob Terwilliger leaves in the near future. Having recently flirted with positions outside the legislature, voters may be reminded about Schmidt’s potential lack of commitment to serving as their senator.

Dave Schmidt [R] 53%
Steve Hobbs [D] 47%

8. 30th District: This is the GOP’s best hope for a seat pickup, but even then is not that great of a chance. This seat, while in a moderate swing district, should favour incumbent Sen. Tracey Eide if history is any judge. Eide, like Democratic Rep. Mark Miloscia, has a record of fiscal responsibility that is key for a Democrat in such a district. Republican opponent Renee Maher is a credible opponent with decent funding, but in a district that prefers a centrist approach and has a history of rewarding legislators for such an approach, there is little reason to believe Eide will lose (or either House member, for that matter).

Tracey Eide [D] 55%
Renee Maher [R] 45%

9. 42nd District: From the beginning here I did not find Jesse Salomon to be a credible enough candidate to defeat Sen. Dale Brandland, even with his occasional gaffe. Brandland is ideologically good for the district, being a pro-choice, pro-civil unions Republican, but his attitude should have triggered a stronger and better-financed opponent from the SDCC. I think if Kelli Linville had run in Salomon’s place she would be the district’s next senator, but as it currently stands I see little possibility of Brandland losing reelection.

Dale Brandland [R] 56%
Jesse Salomon [D] 44%

10. 33rd District: Republican candidate Karen Steele is pretty well-financed for such a solidly-Democratic district, but I see no reason why voters would throw out Sen. Karen Keiser. This district could be won by a moderate Republican in an open seat contest, but otherwise is pretty much off-limits.

Karen Keiser [D] 59%
Karen Steele [R] 41%

05 November 2006

2006 Log Cabin Republican legislative endorsements

Via an email from the secretary of LCR-Washington, I am pleased to help spread the word to reelect the following key Republican allies in the fight for GLBT equal rights in our state. In my mind, each of them is well-deserving of their endorsement due to their record of independence in the face of a GOP minority that seems to be increasingly hostile to civil rights.

Rep. Shirley Hankins [R-Richland]
Rep. Fred Jarrett [R-Mercer Island]
Rep. Skip Priest [R-Federal Way]
Rep. Jan Shabro [R-Bonney Lake]
Rep. Maureen Walsh [R-College Place]

Fortunately, four of these five are likely retentions, with only Rep. Shabro facing credible Democratic opposition this year. However, I find it unfortunate that no non-incumbent Republican candidates were endorsed by LCR-WA this cycle. This is indicative of why the GOP is struggling to win in the suburbs, as it is directly-correlated to their inability to recruit social moderates in open seat contests or inaction in the same regard, whatever the case may be. From all I've seen, the only fresh GOP candidate for the legislature this cycle who is reasonable on gay issues is Tim Lee (45th House district), who I understand to favour civil unions. Otherwise, I suspect we will see swing districts tilting Democratic in the face of Republican opposition who are too socially-conservative. Diane Tebelius ought to start to take notes November 8th.

On a similar note, I have been unable to locate SEAMEC endorsements and ratings for the general election thus far. If anybody has access to this information, I would be pleased to view it, as the SEAMEC website only has primary endorsements for 2006 at the current time.

03 November 2006

Federal election predictions

In the first part of annual prediction posting this November, I will be predicting outcomes of our federal elections, both the Senate race and all nine Congressional districts. In the coming days, I will post the final spreadsheet updates for state House and Senate elections, coupled with specific predictions about the top 10 Senate seats and the top 20 House seats most likely to change party. But for now, the federal races:

US Senate
Ever since before the campaign season kicked off, I haven't strayed far from my initial judgment that Senator Cantwell would win reelection by a modest margin. The initial thought stemmed from that she's been the more moderate and, I would argue, more effective of our Senate duo and she hadn't really given voters any reason to vote her out. While Republicans were falling to their knees in prayer that then-recent loser but popular candidate Dino Rossi would challenge her, I didn't think he could win (because one can avoid unpopular social stances far more easily in a state office race than federal). I think that Mike McGavick was a good candidate for the Republican Party, as well. Not one that impressed me enough to vote for, but given the year and Cantwell's inoffensiveness I don't think he was a bad candidate. I'm hoping that Bruce Guthrie's mainstream exposure will result in achieving the 5% threshold for major party status, but think he will fall slightly short of that, unfortunately.

Maria Cantwell [D] 50%
Mike McGavick [R] 44%
Bruce Guthrie [L] 4%
Aaron Dixon [G] 1.5%
Robin Adair [I] 0.5%

District 1
Inslee by now is a safe bet year in and year out, even though he's probably more liberal than his district's mainstream. Considering that Ishmael is not even from the first district and the year, Inslee should be able to expect a slight increase from his 2004 reelection numbers, stellar as they were.

Jay Inslee [D] 65%
Larry Ishmael [R] 35%

District 2
Larsen's large spread against Suzanne Sinclair was a bit of a surprise in 2004, and I expect him to win by a smaller amount this year mostly due to having a more credible challenger. Doug Roulstone is the type of Republican I think could win the 2nd district were this an open seat, but against an incumbent in what is expected to be a strong Democratic year, even a candidate as solid as he is will struggle.

Rick Larsen [D] 59%
Doug Roulstone [R] 41%

District 3
Now, as mystified as I always am about how someone as liberal as Brian Baird gets reelected in the third Congressional district, he really has no chance of losing it anytime in the near future. I think this district stands a very good chance of electing a Republican when it opens up, but Baird is far too popular to have it picked off, today or tomorrow.

Brian Baird [D] 64%
Michael Messmore [R] 36%

District 4
While Doc Hastings may well deserve to lose reelection due to his toothless tenure as House Ethics Chair, he faces what I believe is a weaker challenger than in 2004 in Richard Wright. Wright came in last in the Democratic primary in 2004 to Sandy Matheson and Craig Mason and while I suspect he'll finish slightly better than Matheson's 37% I think it will be a direct result of the year more than an improvement in opponent strength.

Doc Hastings [R] 59%
Richard Wright [D] 41%

District 5
I hope I'm wrong here. I've been naught but impressed with Peter Goldmark as a candidate since he entered the race, and in my opinion he is easily the most impressive state Congressional challenger this cycle. However, as conservative as she is (she makes George Nethercutt look centrist), she's a very tough opponent who I fear will occupy the seat for the long term. She polled in the low-50s in the only nonpartisan poll I've seen this year, but after polling in the low-50s against Don Barbieri she won 60-40. If Democrats are to beat her, they have to do it now. Goldmark could be the right candidate at the right time, but I'm not sure it will be enough. If nothing else, Goldmark could keep his Spokane apartment and run for mayor next year. Last I heard, Dennis Hession hasn't been overly popular since replacing Jim West.

Cathy McMorris [R] 53%
Peter Goldmark [D] 47%

District 6
Norm Dicks is an institution, pure and simple. His ~69% in 2004 was his highest percentage of votes in almost two decades, and against the same right-wing opponent, I think he breaks 70%.

Norm Dicks [D] 71%
Doug Cloud [R] 29%

District 7
Unlike most other districts where the Democratic candidate can expect a modest bump due to the cycle, Jim McDermott is so well-known and polarizing that I think if anything he will lose some votes to liberal-leaning Independent candidate Linnea Noreen. Being that Steve Beren is yet another right-wing Republican like Carol Cassady, I can't see him getting more than 20%.

Jim McDermott [D] 75%
Steve Beren [R] 16%
Linnea Noreen [I] 9%

District 8
Much has been said about this race, both by myself and others. I'm sticking with my prediction that Reichert will buck the national trend, though I think if the Democrats would have been able to pursuade Ross Hunter in late 2005 then Reichert would be going down. The most useful ammo against Burner is the experience question, otherwise she too may have had the advantage. Much like the 5th district, this might be the Democrats' best shot to knock off the incumbent, but I don't think they will give up on Reichert like they did against Jennifer Dunn.

Dave Reichert [R] 52%
Darcy Burner [D] 48%

District 9
Like most of our districts, the ninth is a potentially-competitive district in an open seat, but also like our other districts they tend to get rather safe after a couple terms for the incumbent. Adam Smith is a moderate, mainstream Democrat who can have this seat as long as he wants. What I wonder is why he doesn't get more press or touted for higher office even though he's more electable statewide than arguably any other Democratic member of the delegation. This year's opponent is, like Doug Roulstone in the second district, a sorta-moderate Republican who might have an outside chance in a different year, but certainly not this one and certainly not against Adam Smith.

Adam Smith [D] 63%
Steven Cofchin [R] 37%

01 November 2006

And now SurveyUSA

In contrast with yesterday's Constituent Dynamics numbers, SurveyUSA today released a poll for the 8th Congressional district showing incumbent GOPer Dave Reichert leading Darcy Burner 51-45. This is a slightly larger lead for Reichert than last month's poll, where he led within the MOE 50-47. The MOE for this poll was ±4.1%, with a partisan sample of 37D, 36R, 25I. Interestingly enough, Burner led those who had already voted 53-45, while Reichert leads with those who haven't 53-42. Those likely voters yet to vote comprised 75% of the sample.