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.

07 November 2008

The legislative picture

After another two days I think we can start to call some of these closer leg races. I'm not terribly interested in whether the media has called them or not because I think in a lot of cases the media makes poor judgments. Statewide, the only race that I think could possibly change still is the lands commissioner race, which was called for Goldmark yesterday. The others should stay where they are, which puts me on the wrong end of a few close races from my pre-election predictions. C'est la vie...

The Senate appears to have experienced a one-seat gain by the Republicans should trends hold. Randi Becker took the lead from Senator Rasmussen in the 2nd district yesterday and has extended that lead today. I always thought Rasmussen would hold on for one last term but this was certainly the #1 GOP opportunity in the Senate and I'd have judged it the most likely for either party as well. On the Democratic side, District 17 leapfrogged Districts 28 and 18 on my list, the latter two looking to be fairly easy retentions by incumbent Republicans. Senator Benton had a surprisingly close call against David Carrier, who led him in early returns, but now looks to be en route to another term. Here's the recent numbers:

LD2 - Randi Becker [R] leads Senator Rasmussen 50.4-49.6
LD10 - Senator Haugen [D] defeats Linda Haddon 54-46
LD17 - Senator Benton [R] leads David Carrier 51-49
LD18 - Senator Zarelli [R] defeats Jon Haugen 55-45
LD28 - Senator Carrell [R] defeats Debi Srail 54-46

The House has a lot more close races that aren't yet certain. Democrats look to have picked up the 17th and 41st districts and Republicans look to have picked up seats in the 6th and 26th districts. Democrats currently lead in the 6th and 10th districts but trends are running against them. A breakdown:

LD5 - Rep. Anderson [R] leads David Spring 51-49
LD6 - Kevin Parker [R] defeats Rep. Barlow 53-47, John Driscoll [D] leads Rep. Ahern 50.07-49.93
LD8 - Brad Klippert [R] leads Carol Moser 52-48
LD10 - Tim Knue [D] leads Rep. Smith 50.06-49.94
LD14 - Norm Johnson [R] leads Vickie Ybarra 52.5-47.5
LD16 - Rep. Grant [D] defeats Terry Nealey 53-47
LD17 - Tim Probst [D] defeats Joseph James 56-44
LD25 - Bruce Dammeier [R] leads Rob Cerqui 52-48
LD26 - Jan Angel [R] leads Kim Abel 52-48
LD30 - Rep. Priest [R] defeats Carol Gregory 53-47
LD39 - Rep. Kristiansen [R] defeats Scott Olson 54-46
LD41 - Marcie Maxwell [D] leads Steve Litzow 52-48
LD44 - Rep. Loomis [D] leads Mike Hope 51-49
LD45 - Rep. Goodman [D] defeats Toby Nixon 55-45
LD47 - Rep. Simpson [D] defeats Mark Hargrove 53-47

A few notes:
1. I almost want to call the 6th for Ahern based on how much he's been gaining in late counts. Driscoll has a very narrow lead but I don't think it's likely he's going to keep it, even with such huge turnout in Spokane. Similar story in the 10th, as Norma Smith has closed the gap to such a small margin with the trends going so heavily to her.
2. Benton County has about 10000 ballots left to count. Klippert holds a lead of just under 2000, and is the likely victor but I won't call it until some of those ballots are counted.
3. Yakima County has about 20000 ballots left to count, so I hesitate to call that race for Johnson. He's had a steady lead and will probably win, but like the 8th I'm waiting a little longer.
4. Pierce County is taking a long time to count its ballots because of having separate ballots for state and county offices, with the ranked choice voting going on and all. Since we don't really know how many ballots are left or from which parts of the county, I'm not going to call the 25th or 26th for a while yet.
5. I hesitate to call the 41st because Litzow has tightened the race in recent returns. Like Pierce, it's hard to know where the remaining 230000 King ballots are coming from, but I think it's best to wait on this one as well.
6. In the 44th, Hope has been closing the gap hardcore. Snohomish County has 70000 ballots left to count and I really think that one could go either way.



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