Just out from Congressional Quarterly:
Democrats in the state of Washington are increasingly better positioned to keep the Governor’s mansion and to take over a key House district in the state’s most competitive contests this election cycle.
Gov. Christine Gregoire and 8th District candidate Darcy Burner came within a razor‑thin edge of their opponents in their last contests. But analysts now say that the Democrats have upped their chancing of winning as the state GOP party faces structural problems and GOP efforts to appeal to the state’s large number of moderate voters has been hampered by their strong conservative base.
CQ Politics is now changing its rating of the Washington state Governor’s race from No Clear Favorite to Leans Democrat and Washington’s 8th District rating from Leans Republican to No Clear Favorite.
And how has Darcy Burner done it?
In the 8th District, which encompasses the Eastern suburbs of Seattle, analysts say former Microsoft executive Burner’s organization, fundraising, and her views on the Iraq war have boosted her campaign. […] Burner has made the Iraq war, which is highly unpopular in the district, a centerpiece of her 2008 campaign. She initiated an effort to create a plan to end the war. After six months of consultation with retired generals and national security experts, she was joined by nine Democratic challengers in the release of a formal plan March 17. It reiterates many of the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group and calls for removing all U.S. troops from Iraq (without proposing a specific timeline), enlisting allies to help stabilize Iraq, and improving America’s international reputation.
Dave Reichert is now one of only three Republican incumbents whose race is rated a toss-up, and a lot of the credit goes to Darcy’s leadership in creating a consensus behind the Responsible Plan.
And how’s that plan progressing these days? The Politico devotes a ton of space to it today, reporting:
As congressional Democrats plot strategy for next week’s Petraeus-Crocker appearances, a growing number of Democratic congressional challengers are coming together around something called the “Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq.”
The plan’s author, Washington House candidate Darcy Burner, said that her original goal had been to have 50 candidates sign on to the plan by September. Just 2½ weeks into its life, the plan has nearly that many, picking up six more in the past few days to bring to the total to 48.
Um… as of 1PM today, 52 Democratic challengers had now signed on to the Plan. And counting.
Darcy taped an interview with Rachel Maddow today, which will be aired on her show at either 3:30 or 4:30 PM Pacific. Tune in to AM-1090 or stream the audio live from their website.