Reichert: Don’t know much about history

Following up on Darryl’s post, SurveyUSA also came out with polling numbers last night, posting results in the governor’s race, a 49-46 Gregoire lead, right in line with the 47-45 advantage reported by Strategic Vision. Neither pollster sees much movement in this race over recent weeks.

SurveyUSA also polled the 8th CD race, where they find Dave Reichert leading Darcy Burner 50-44, again, virtually unchanged from six weeks ago. I’d be lying if told you I wouldn’t rather see Darcy closing the gap, but she hasn’t yet started advertising, and I honestly doubt if the Reichert camp is taking much comfort in these results. In fact, given the way his campaign has been trying to tamp down expectations for the August primary, I’d sure love to take a gander at Reichert’s internal numbers.

“We wouldn’t be surprised if Darcy took first in the primary,” Reichert spokeswoman Amanda Halligan recently told Roll Call. “Historically, Democrats have had higher turnout in the primaries than Republicans.” This is the same message the Reichert camp pushed yesterday through the Evans-Novak Report, which emphasizes without substantiation that Burner is “heavily favored” in the August primary.

Huh. Really? Well, I suppose… that is, if your idea of “historically” means going back only as far as 2006 ( the only 8th CD race to use the now defunct “pick a party” primary), when Darcy Burner did indeed win the primary 51-49, only to see it flip the other way in November. But I think a more accurate historical perspective would be to look at how the late Rep. Jennifer Dunn fared as an incumbent, under the blanket primary rules our new top-two primary attempts to emulate.


Democrats always have higher turnout in primaries than Republicans? As you can see, history tells us no such thing. In fact, history really doesn’t tell us anything useful about primary vs general turnout patterns considering this is the first ever 8th CD primary to occur in August, not to mention our first ever to use the top-two format.

I don’t know if Reichert’s pre-primary spin that Burner is “heavily favored” is based on sheer bullshit, or on some pretty nasty internal polling. But it sure ain’t based on history.


  1. 1

    calvin spews:

    A vote for Dunn is not the same as a republican casting a vote. Plenty of Dems voted for her, and continue to vote for Reichert. They do so because Heidi was a nimrod, with zero broad appeal, and now Darcy is quite a bit better, but still without broad appeal past that of Reichert. Party figures poorly in this district, which went heavily for Murray and Cantwell, while Reichert’s % went virtually unchanged in the same years (04 & 06). Reichert’s people are just setting expectations, and nothing else. This year will be the same again as 04 & 06 since the race hasn’t changed one bit.

  2. 2

    Rick D. spews:

    “…finds Dave Reichert leading Darcy Burner 50-44, again, virtually unchanged from six weeks ago. I’d be lying if told you I wouldn’t rather see Darcy closing the gap…”

    Thanks for clearing that up Goldy, AKA “Captain Obvious”. Up until that disclaimer I had no idea who your candidate was.

    “Disco Inferno” Darcy’s electoral fate is identical to last time she ran against Reichert….abject failure….get used to it.

  3. 3

    Steve spews:

    @1 “This year will be the same again as 04 & 06 since the race hasn’t changed one bit.”

    The context has changed considerably. I’m sure there are plenty of 8th voters who would now prefer a Dem rep in the coming years of Democratic party majorities.

  4. 4

    GBS spews:

    Make no mistake, being 6 points down right now, given the miserable state of the Republican brand, the economy, the corruption, crimes, failed war policies, $4 gallon gasoline is a not a good thing for Darcy.

    Seems like some of those on the right just may have a better finger on the pulse of the WA 8th CD than I do.

    In fact, if Darcy were only up by 2-3 points, I’d still be concerned.

    Darcy still hasn’t advertised yet, but I’m not certain there’s room for a 6.1% swing in the 8th.

    We’ll have to watch the polls very closely on this one.

  5. 5

    Tlazolteotl spews:

    Very very off topic, but for anyone who cares, billmon is back. You can find his post on his diary over at the Great Orange Satan.

  6. 7

    Daddy Love spews:

    You know, it’s easy for John McCain to talk aut privatizing Social Security. After all HE married rich.

    It’s easy for John McCain to propose making health care more expensive so that people are more “careful” with their health care spending. He’s had unlimited publicly-funded government health care and plenty of it all of his life; every minute of every day.

    It’s easy for John McCain to propose cutting taxes for the rich while raising them on others. He’ll net hundreds of thousands of dollars every year if he gets the cuts passed.

    Yes, it’s easy being John McCain. And I think it’s eight mansions insetead of four they they own; I got that wrong last time.

  7. 8

    Daddy Love spews:

    Speaking of presidential candidates (well, I was)…

    Which presidential candidate hosted Saturday Night Live (hint — the musical guests were The White Stripes)?

    Which one had cameos on “24” and “Wedding Crashers“?

    Whose wife secretly got her pilot’s license and owns a jet?

    Who is pals with Warren Beatty?

    Whose daughter is friends with Heidi from MTV’s The Hills?

    Whose wife once told Vogue, explaining the purchase of a 7th or 8th house, this one a beach house, “When I bought the first one, my husband, who is not a beach person, said, ‘Oh this is such a waste of money; the kids will never go. Then it got to the point where they used it so much I couldn’t get in the place. So I bought another one.”

    Whose family credit cards have been known to ring up more than $500,000 in charges in one month?

    Just askin’…

  8. 9

    proud leftist spews:

    The 8th District voters are not rubes. I find it baffling that a majority in that district could vote for someone so unimpressive as Dave Reichert for any position, let alone Congress. He simply has nothing to offer.

  9. 10

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    The Republicans will most likely lose most elections this November. The party has been so tarnished by GWB and the corruption that a turnip with a “D” behind its name on the ballot would probably beat any Republican candidate.

    As far as the presidential election goes, Obama is about in the same position today as Nixon was during the 1972 election. As you may recall, Nixon won almost every state against George McGovern. So, I expect a landslide against McCain.

  10. 11

    proud leftist spews:

    A turnip with a “D” behind its name would be vastly more competent to hold political office than would be anyone still willing to stick an “R” behind his or her name.

  11. 12

    dutch spews:

    #8: There you guys go again…just because others have a different opinion than you, you have to call them stupid…how so Seattle of you :-)

    I know Darcy from her past life and can tell you…I’d rather vote for Richard Pope than for her…luckily…I have to do neither.

  12. 13

    proud leftist spews:

    Au contraire–I didn’t call anyone stupid for disagreeing with me. I said 8th District voters “are not rubes.” See, I’m complimenting them, in a way.

  13. 15

    michael spews:


    Darcy’s electoral fate is identical to last time she ran against Reichert….abject failure….get used to it.

    Darcy turned what was a safe seat into a contested seat and didn’t lose by much. This time around you still have what was a safe seat where J. Dunn could go off and campaign for other folks an open seat where the Republicans have to bring folks in to campaign for Hair Spray. That’s a long, long way from abject failure and smart politicing even if she doesn’t win.

  14. 16

    kirk spews:

    Paul Berendt turned what was a contested seat into an R seat when he picked Dave Ross to run against Alben.

  15. 17

    Steve spews:

    @11 “you have to call them stupid”

    How typically Republican of you – make shit up and then whine about it. Don’t you people ever tire of whining? Have you no self respect? Shit, why would I bother to ask that of a troll, of all people?

  16. 18

    Reformed republican spews:

    11: good job with the innuendo and no facts “Dutch”. Maybe those wooden shoes are too tight and that is why your post makes no sense. If you disagree with Burner’s policy – than say why. If you agree with Reichert wasting our tax money on an unnecessary war in Iraq – then say so. Otherwise, what you have is immature drivel.
    Name something substancial that Reichert has done while in office.

  17. 19

    Daddy Love spews:


    This year will be the same again as 04 & 06 since the race hasn’t changed one bit.

    And your reason for thinking this is–what? Is it Darcy’s large financial advantage over Reichert that she hasn’t even tapped yet? Or some other concrete measure?

    Yes, Darcy has advantages, so those must be good for Dave Reichert.

  18. 22

    Richard Pope spews:

    Darryl — there was also a pick-a-party primary in 2004, and the Democratic turnout in the 8th CD was a lot higher than the G.0.P. Party:

    U.S. Representative – District 8

    Democratic Votes Party %
    Alex Alben 24,903 30.65%
    Dave Ross 39,347 48.43%
    Heidi Behrens-Benedict 16,992 20.91%

    Republican Votes Party %
    Conrad Lee 8,350 11.56%
    Dave Reichert 31,088 43.04%
    Diane Tebelius 16,468 22.80%
    Luke Esser 16,309 22.58%

    Libertarian Votes Party %
    Spencer Garrett 1,658 100.00%;estat=p

    Darryl can do the math, but I count about 81,000 Democratic votes to about 72,000 G.0.P. votes.

  19. 23

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    proud leftist @ 10,

    It doesn’t matter too much to me, because I’ll be voting for anyone who doesn’t have a “D” or “R” after his/her name. I dislike both groups.

  20. 24

    proud leftist spews:

    PI @ 22
    Hey, man, I actually liked your quip about turnips, and was just trying to make a joke about it–in my own partisan way, of course. Lighten up, and accept credit for a well-turned phrase.

  21. 25

    Richard Pope spews:

    PI @ 22

    So I take it that you will vote for the G.0.P. Party this year, since that is neither “D” nor “R” as it appears on the ballot?

  22. 26

    Carol Friends spews:

    All the statistical analysis misses the point.

    What matters is how the voters perceive the candidate.

    There’s nothing like pressing the flesh, showing up at community events, and connecting with the voter on a very personal level to get the vote.

    Let’s measure that.

  23. 27

    rhp6033 spews:

    PI @ 9: I see this race as being more analogous to 1976 than 1972. The Bush administration “lost it’s emperor’s clothes” beginning in late 2005, resulting in the 2006 loss of control of Congress, and peaking about mid-2007. Since then, voter expectations have pretty much been fixed – the majority of voters have such poor expectations of the Bush administration in particular, and the Republican Party in general, that further bad news and scandals only reinforces the negative opinion, but doesn’t change the numbers. Those 23% or so that still blindly support Bush and the Republicans will continue to do so, regardless of any further news/evidence to the contrary. It’s a cruel game of diminished expectations – the Republicans might actually benefit if they occassionally do something right from time to time, because it will be so surprising.

    So the timing is similar with the 1976 elections – the worst was over for the Republicans in 1974 when Nixon resigned. Ford seemed like a breath of fresh air in comparison, and he gained some headway by appearing to be a “new breed of Republican” – one who wasn’t currupted by the Nixon administration. But despite having the advantages of being an actual incumbent, Ford’s incumbency advantages were limited by trying to distance himself from most of the Republican Party, and having never won a national election himself.

    Likewise, McCain’s position is similar to Ford’s in that he has to run as a mavarick Republican. In effect, he’s telling voters to forget the past eight years and consider this year’s election as if it were a “clean slate”. He’s also trying to portray himself as experienced and safe (like Ford did), rather than as a relative newcomer reformist (Carter).

    Anyway, getting back to the local races, lots of relatively new Democrat candidates benefited from the 1976 backlash against the Republicans. Clinton was one of them. That may happen here, also.

    And as I’ve said before, I think the big key in this election will be youth vote. The Democratic party needs to be making substantial efforts to reach the Obama support and funnel it into the local races as well. They may want to encourage students who live in the 8th to keep their voter registrations at home, rather than to change them to any temporary housing they may be using at school.

  24. 28

    rhp6033 spews:

    Over the years, lots of Senators on both sides of the aisle have mentioned that McCain’s temper, inability to take criticism, and inability to handle complex issues have made him difficult to work with in the Senate. They say that just about every Senator has a “McCain Story” about his unreasonable outbursts and treatment of his fellow colleagues and subordinates. Heck, he even physically assaulted Strom Thurmond on the floor of the Senate for a perceived “slight”.

    Now many Republcan Senatators are quietly dismayed at the prospect of a Republican McCain, with whom they would have to deal on issues of legislation, and as the leader of their party. Some have mentioned that McCain is carrying a lot of grudges about treatment by fellow Republicans in the Senate, and he’s been known to get even whenever circumstances permit. They see McCain as someone who will exercise dictatorial control over the party, rejecting any input from others which doesn’t match his own opinions. They fear that rather than a victory, a McCain presidency could be the nail in the coffin of the Republican Party.

    Only a couple of Republican Senators have mentioned it publically for obvious reasons (they had gone on the record previously as not being McCain admirers), but a number of journalists have said that the breadth of the concern within the Republican Senate rankes is the subject of considerable off-the-record discussions in the watering holes of D.C.

    Likewise, there are quite a few senior officers in the Pentagon who are quietly making retirement plans in the event of a McCain presidency. If you have ever run afoul of McCain, then you can expect that your career will be over – and anyone who exercises independent judgement which is contrary to the wishes of John McCain is in that catogory. So if in any conversation with Sen. McCain the words “With respect, Senator…” have ever been uttered, things are a little tense right now.

  25. 29

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    proud leftist @ 23,

    I apologize: I took you comment the wrong way.

    Richard Pope @ 24,

    No, I will not vote for the “G.O.P.” party either because they are the Republicans trying to hide behind another label so as to avoid any connection to GWB.

  26. 30

    diamondshards spews:

    RHP6033 @28 Does anyone here wonder where this expert gets all this valuable inside information? This post has nary a shred of documentation, simply conjecture. The closest he gets to documentation is what “a number of journalists” (unnamed)are saying “is the subject of considerable off-the-record discussion in the watering holes of DC.” Geez….you HA rubes will believe anything.