Wednesday’s tabulations have arrived, spreadsheets have been filled in, and I’ve got quick updates on three of Washington’s statewide races. Here’s the executive summary:
- Governor — not much has changed. Jay remains in the lead, but Rob still has a chance. Maybe even a slightly greater chance than he did after Tuesday’s count.
- Referendum 74 — Approved stretches its lead. I think the marriage-equality supporters have every right to claim victory.
- Secretary of State — Wyman tiptoes a bit farther ahead, but it’s still much too close to call
New ballot counts were reported by 19 counties on Wednesday. The 228,253 newly-recorded votes constituted less than 12% of Tuesday’s count of 1,947,063. My assumption is that Wednesday was mostly finishing up the backlog of ballots processed before the deadline, and that the first late-arriving ballots won’t be tabulated until Thursday’s report. With nearly 750K uncounted ballots on hand, the estimated turnout jumped from 65.7% to 74.8% (it’ll go appreciably higher before we’re finished.
Inslee led McKenna 51.3% to 48.7% on Tuesday night, with a predicted final tally of 51.2% to 48.8%. He didn’t do nearly as well on Wednesday; in fact, McKenna picked up slightly more than half (50.4%) of the day’s count. Inslee’s percentage in King County came to just under 60%, well below Tuesday’s 63%. With the small number of new ballots, though, the cumulative statewide numbers are just about the same as on Tuesday — actually 51.1% to 48.9% (a bit worse than on Tuesday), predicted 51.3% to 48.7% (a bit better than on Tuesday). The seeming contradiction arises from the nonuniform distribution of new votes by county.
Approval of R-74 had 51.8% of the Tuesday vote, to 48.2% Reject. My estimate at that time was a final 51.7% to 48.3% tally. It got better on Wednesday, as 53.4% of the new ballots were for Approve. Approve did better on Wednesday than on Tuesday in 17 of the day’s 19 counties; only Lincoln and Spokane Counties bucked the trend. The Approve rate on Wednesday’s King County ballots (67.6%) was more than two percent higher than Tuesday’s (65.5%). Through Wednesday, Approve’s cumulative percentage was 52.0% and its estimated final result was 52.1%. It’s all but certain that Washington will join Maine and Maryland on the right side of the argument.
Wednesday’s new ballots reaffirmed the tightness of the battle to replace Sam Reed as Secretary of State. After the first day’s count, Republican Kim Wyman led Kathleen Drew by less than one point, 50.4% to 49.6%. At that time, my predicted final tally was identical to the actual percentages. Wyman’s margin among Wednesday’s new ballots (52.7% to 47.3%) was appreciably higher than Tuesday’s, and her Wednesday percentage exceeded Tuesday’s in 13 of the 19 counties. While my estimated outcome didn’t change with the addition of Wednesday’s ballots, Wyman’s actual percentage rose to 50.6% to Drew’s 49.4%. This race remains basically deadlocked. I must say, though, that if Wyman were the Auditor of any county other than Thurston, she would be trailing. Normally reliably Democratic, Thurston favors its Republican favorite daughter 59.0% to 41.0%.
I anticipate a larger number of newly tabulated ballots in Thursday’s count, as many counties start tallying ballots that hadn’t been been sitting in the county offices, waiting for the official poll-closing at 8pm. We will likely have a much clearer picture of the gubernatorial race, and perhaps also of the SoS outcome. And I’ll be here, peering at my spreadsheets and analyzing what’s going on.
In comment #1, Moderate Man asked why I wasn’t looking at I-1240, the initiative in which Bill Gates and friends are pushing
privatizing education charter schools. I had no good answer to the question (see comment #7), so I went back and built a spreadsheet to examine it.
On Tuesday, Yes on I-1240 was leading 51.2% to 48.8%. My estimation method put the “final” tally at 51.4% to 48.6%. In Wednesday’s returns, Yes was ever-so-slightly ahead, garnering 72 votes more than No among the 216,702 recorded votes (to one decimal place, that’s a 50-50 dead heat). At 51.1% to 48.9%, the cumulative result was identical to my interim estimate.
I’ll include I-1240 as this series continues. Even if the
bigots opponents of R-74 have conceded, I’ll still report on that race for at least one more day.