Former state GOP chair Chris Vance, writing at Crosscut about the race in WA-03 to replace retiring Rep. Brian Baird:
In the end it probably won’t matter which Democrat prevails. The 3rd is a Republican-leaning district and this looks like a Republican year. Herrera is most likely going to Congress.
I have to hand it to the Republicans, when they send out a bit of spin/conventional wisdom, most of them stick to it like glue. Herrera is thoroughly untested as a major candidate for Congress, having won a single election for the state House of Representatives after she was appointed in the ultra-conservative 18th Legislative district after the Richard Curtis sex scandal. We have yet to see how she will perform on a larger stage once things heat up.
Untested candidates can win, of course. It’s one reason politics is so fascinating. Herrera is obviously smart and dedicated, and it would be foolish to underestimate her, especially with the Slade Gorton crowd so thoroughly behind her.
But WA-03 is a swing district, not a Republican-leaning district, and anyone who follows politics here knows that. People with names like Baird, Cantwell and Obama have all won here. Craig Pridemore, the state senator from Vancouver who is one of the two major Democratic contenders, won his senate seat in 2004 from long-time incumbent Don Carlson, and 2004 was hardly a banner year for Democrats.
Sure, the national zeitgeist is a huge factor, but that’s true no matter the nominees. Vance sees a GOP tidal wave building, and it’s his right to see what he wishes I suppose. The Republicans have been pushing this “repeat of 1994″ stuff since last year, and frankly it’s more than a little wishful thinking on their part. The sad thing is that their noise machine will do everything it can to make it come true, of course, but it’s a long ways to the election and the GOP is not without its own woes, including a lack of money at the national level.
The Tea People have jumped about ten sharks by this point, and Republicans are still the party of nothingness, nihilism and no. Inchoate rage is not a political program, it’s just a tactic, and a pretty low-brow one at that. They still have no real solutions, only tactics and their noise machine. A lot of normal people are on to their game, at long last. That’s why “The Daily Show” is so popular.
And here’s another “riddle me this” for you: if Herrera is such a lock, why does her candidacy require so much lifting by the Slade Gorton crowd?