Hmm. After Dino Rossi’s lawyers had their asses kicked in a Wenatchie courtroom, I seem to remember the mouth-breathers in my comment threads mentioning something about political payback… a voter revolt that would sweep us evil, election-stealing Democrats from power.
So… how’s that revenge thing going for you, guys?
Ron Sims 14-point victory would suggest, not so well… but then, given the “hard core leftist base in Seattle,” I suppose that’s not really a fair measure, is it? So, since Initiative 912’s backers aggressively urged voters to send a message to “Queen Christine”, enthusiastically adopting Rossi as their mascot, I thought it’d be interesting to do a little (u)SP-like comparison.
The following table shows results from the 12 counties in which Rossi drew his strongest support, and compares the percentage of the vote Rossi received in 2004, with the percentage of the vote I-912 received in 2005.
All but Lewis County are located in Eastern Washington, and in each county, I-912 drew less support than Rossi… sometimes substantially less. Walla Walla actually fell into the No camp, giving the initiative 15 points less support than it gave Rossi.
So what does this say about voter backlash in Eastern Washington? There wasn’t any.
Even as the returns started coming in early Tuesday night, and the numbers still looked close, I heard a Republican consultant on KUOW saying that I-912’s passage would be a huge blow to Gov. Gregoire, crippling her ability to lead the Legislature. So given that level of expectation, and given the clarity in which the “send a message” message was delivered statewide, the relative lack of support for I-912, even in the most Republican leaning counties, sends a message of it’s own: the 2004 election is finally over.
Christine Gregoire is governor, and her reelection prospects in 2008 will be based mostly on how well she governs. And the fact that she could lead both a majority of the Legislature, and a majority of the people, to support an inherently unpopular gas tax increase, is a pretty damn good start.