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.

03 November 2008

Statewide elections predictions, part 2

Now for the last round of predictions, the closer statewide contests. I fear they may open me up to the charge of bias towards Republicans, but it seems to me that for the second cycle in a row their statewide candidates are going to outperform their party counterparts at the top of the ticket as well as downballot. It certainly seems that the only offices the GOP can seem to recruit well is statewide, as of late. Anyway, on to the calls:

Attorney General:
I held off on posting this in the prior predictions list on the off chance that the John Ladenburg campaign could start to close the 57-43 gap from the primary, but if recent polling is to be believed the end result might be even wider. The last SurveyUSA poll from October 27 tracked Rob McKenna at 57% while Ladenburg fell to a meager 36%. It looks to me like the Democratic Party's attempt to derail McKenna's promising career before it starts is officially over.

McKenna [R] 59
Ladenburg [D] 41

Insurance Commissioner:
I wanted to start off with this one since it was an office I accidentally left off the previous statewide post. This is a rematch between incumbent Mike Kreidler and Republican candidate John Adams. Kreidler won by 13 points in 2004 and the primary by 17, though the losing candidate was a Republican running unaffiliated and Adams will probably get most of those votes. I don't really see how Adams could close the gap when Kreidler seems to have a solid base of around 53% of the vote.

Kreidler [D] 56
Adams [R] 44

Superintendent of Public Instruction:
In the primary I went against polling in picking incumbent Terry Bergeson and was right, as she won with 39% over Randy Dorn's 34%. Just as in the primary, polling consistently shows Dorn with a lead, though he's never been anywhere close to 43%. I'm sticking with a Bergeson win as she always does far better than polling suggests and with such a high number of undecideds I think a big chunk of voters are going to go with the familiar name.

Bergeson 54
Dorn 46

Commissioner of Public Lands:
This was the only statewide race I called wrong in the primary, as incumbent Doug Sutherland edged out challenger Peter Goldmark 51-49. Polling since the primary shows Sutherland retains a slight lead:

SurveyUSA 10/27: Sutherland 45 Goldmark 43
Elway 10/19: Sutherland 38 Goldmark 33
SurveyUSA 10/13: Sutherland 47 Goldmark 38

Being that I don't put much stock into Elway polls one can deduce a slight movement towards Goldmark from SurveyUSA polling, though it's a tough call if it's enough to put him over the top. I do think that Goldmark is the toughest challenger Sutherland has had in his three statewide elections, and highly doubt the end margin will be larger than his win last time over Mike Cooper.

Sutherland [R] 51
Goldmark [D] 49

I've been really disappointed that so little coverage has been focused on this sole open statewide seat. The only polls I've seen on it have been unreliable Elways, and the media has said so little about it that there isn't much to go on aside from newspaper endorsements, fundraising, and the primary finish. Allan Martin won the primary with 45% against two Democrats, with state Rep. Jim McIntire in 2nd place at 39%. Normally the conventional wisdom would be that the 15% that went to Democrat Chang Mook Sohn would naturally flow to McIntire, but when you consider that Sohn is a moderate and McIntire has a very liberal record and represents the left-wing 46th district, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Sohn vote split roughly 50-50 (in full disclosure, the bf and I were both Sohn voters now supporting Martin). Martin won virtually all the big newspaper endorsements, and with the support of incumbent Democrat Mike Murphy I'm giving him a slight edge despite that open seats typically lean Democratic here and that a Republican hasn't held this office for eons. If nothing else, the ghost of Vic Meyers will be pleased that we'll finally have another moustache in statewide office.

Martin [R] 51
McIntire [D] 49

I think we all have our own opinions on the candidates, so I'm not going to go into that. Virtually all the reputable polls show it's a statistical tie and while it's unlikely we'll have a situation as close as 2004 this could really go either way, and my guess is as good as any of yours. Much has been made of Rossi's ballot listing as GOP, and how it has the potential to give him more votes than if he ran as Republican. The problem with the vast majority of polls is that they label him Republican, so there's the potential that he'll do better than they predict, but since this is a new situation for all of us and it hasn't been specifically proven that GOP does better than Republican (aside from what Elway tells us), we'll just have to wait and see how things turn out. The only poll that I've seen that accurately describes him in their poll wording is the Washington Poll, which tracked the race at 50-48 in Gregoire's favour in last Saturday's release. Casting aside all misgivings about the Washington Poll, and Lord knows I have them, that still shows the race in a statistical tie, which is probably where the race is and has been for a long while.

One thing that came out today was a Seattle P-I analysis that shows higher turnout in Rossi counties than Gregoire counties, Jefferson and Pacific aside. While the primary proved that Gregoire could win with poor turnout in King, I've decided to give Rossi the edge. I think a simple comparison of the two campaigns shows that he's been dictating the big issues and been much better in ads, and in a neutral year he'd probably win by a couple points. We'll just have to see if there are enough Obama-Rossi voters to put him in the governor's mansion.

Rossi [R] 50.3
Gregoire [D] 49.7



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