So Rob McKenna hides at home while sending out his campaign manager to let us all know that he’s bowed to the inevitable. Still, I suppose it’s better to confirm that you’re a wimp than to reiterate that you’re an asshole, à la John Koster. Sure, Koster had the cojones to make his own concession speech (though of course he was so thoroughly stomped that it could have been done at least two days earlier). But Koster didn’t have the common courtesy to call WA-01 victor Suzan DelBene beforehand … and then spitefully excoriated the WA GOP and the NRCC for their failure to back his teahadist jihad while conceding. We now see Koster and Kirby Wilbur dissing each other, while nobody takes the
blame responsibility for the loss. Stay classy, Republicans!
But I digress. The sharp swing to McKenna prophesied (with zero supporting evidence) by the aforementioned campaign manager, Randy Pepple, didn’t happen on Friday. Oh, on a day when all but six counties updated their counts, he narrowed the percentage of Inslee’s lead by a tenth of a percent. But he fell about 1300 votes farther behind in the absolute margin, from 54,398 back to a deficit of 55,682 votes. Inslee did better in King County on Friday than on Thursday — not much surprise there — but he also ticked up his percentages in Benton, Clark, Kitsap, and Snohomish Counties; there was simply no sign of a turn to McKenna.
At 50.8% to 49.2%, Friday’s cumulative margins in the two remaining races under consideration — Secretary of State and I-1240 — were only slightly smaller than Inslee’s lead over McKenna (51.0% to 49.0%). And both moved in the wrong (IMHO) direction on Friday.
For SoS, Kim Wyman picked up 52.0% of the Friday ballots, thereby adding another tenth of a percent to her overall lead. Although Kathleen Drew did a bit less poorly in Thurston County on Friday, she also did less well in King and the other big counties in which she holds the lead. Since Tuesday, Wyman’s margin has ratcheted upward each and every day, 50.4 to .6 to .7 to .8. There’s no indication of a reversal in that trend, so it’s just a matter of time before Drew concedes. It’s the closest a Democrat has come to serving as Secretary of State since 1960, and it’s the only statewide office won by a Republican this cycle, but it’s still painful.
As good as Thursday had been for the opponents of I-1240, it was just the opposite on Friday. No got 54.4% of Thursday’s ballots while Yes pulled in 53.7% of Friday’s. That reversal was highlighted by the results in King County — it ran 61.7% No on Thursday, for a cumulative tally of 52.6% No … but 55.9% Yes on Friday. That daily outcome took fully 1.1% off of the cumulative percentage of No votes in King County. I have no explanation for these gyrations; the day-to-day differential is well beyond any sort of random fluctuation. Because of such inexplicable variation, I’m less willing to admit that the
privatizers charter schools advocates have won. There’s still a ghost of a chance to defeat Bill Gates and Alice Walton, but it’s very unlikely.
Overall, 33 counties counted 269,657 ballots on Friday. That’s fewer than Thursday but more than Wednesday. The SoS estimates that 366,122 remain to be processed, which would take us to 79.7% turnout if correct. However, it isn’t correct. King County, for example, believes it will end up seeing perhaps 50K additional ballots by the time their tally is certified. I anticipate eventually getting closer to 85% statewide turnout than 80%.
According to the SoS’s schedule, additional counts are due to be received today from six counties: King, Kitsap, Kittitas, Pierce, Snohomish, and Whatcom. Mostly Democratic/liberal, mostly large/Puget Sound. Expect a larger Inslee lead and stronger Approve percentage on R-74 (it’s at 52.8% through Friday) in my next update of the ballot counting.
A few minutes ago, I received an email from the Drew campaign. She has conceded defeat in the SoS race. (And of course, she noted that she had first called Ms. Wyman to congratulate her. Kathleen Drew is no John Koster.)