Of all the “too close to call” races this election, the easiest to call is R-71, which reaffirms the “Everything But Marriage” bill that passed the legislature last session.
Election night results have the measure passing by a mere 2 percent of the vote, a margin well within the swing that routinely occurs during Washington’s weeks long ballot counting process. But I have damn good reason to believe that R-71’s margin will significantly expand, not shrink as the ballots are tallied.
I base this assumption on the disproportionate number of ballots left to be counted in populous King County, which so far has voted 61 percent in favor of the measure, versus the ballots remaining in the 29 counties that voted against it. As of 8:15 pm last night, King had counted only 23.55% of registered voters, but projects a final turnout of 56%. The other 38 counties have thus far tallied 30.66% of voters, with a statewide turnout projected to top out at around 51%.
Punch the current numbers through a spreadsheet, play around with turnout rates, and any way you run it, R-71’s margin of victory expands. That is, assuming late voters didn’t dramatically trend toward the No side of the ballot… a trend for which there is absolutely no evidence.
My educated guess? R-71 passes by a comfortable 4 to 6 point margin.
The folks at the Washington Poll run pretty much the same spreadsheet, and come up with pretty much the same numbers.