Okay, first off, let me just say upfront that I was wrong. Yesterday I predicted that a bunch of local races would likely be “too close to call,” when in fact, really, none of them are. Some will likely tighten up, but I will be awfully surprised if any of last night’s top-line winners end up losing.
The tightest race right now is in District 3, where Kshama Sawant leads challenger Pamela Banks by 5.4 points, but the late ballots will surely trend in Sawant’s favor. I guess District 1’s race between Shannon Braddock and Lisa Herbold (52.9% to 46.5%) is technically in the too-close-to-call range, but it’s hard to imagine a sufficient late ballot swing.
So then, what did we learn from last night’s election? Absolutely nothing. Every incumbent won reelection, and in all but one race (District 5, where fundraising was almost even), every winner outspent the loser. As usual. Also, we easily passed another property tax levy. Imagine that.
So much for the disruptive impact of district elections.
Speaking of which, for all the excitement allegedly generated by putting nine council seats up for election at once (four of them open!), voter turnout is likely to hit a historic low. Citywide, Seattle is only on track for about 39 percent turnout, compared to over 52 percent just two years ago.
So yeah, nothing to see here. Incumbents win, money rules, and turnout sucks.