What Washington's Results Mean

As I mentioned yesterday, Washington's unique primary system offers an unusually good test of where the state's key races stand. Since this is Washington, nowhere ...
by | August 20, 2008

As I mentioned yesterday, Washington's unique primary system offers an unusually good test of where the state's key races stand. Since this is Washington, nowhere near all of the votes have been counted yet, but it's not too soon for some preliminary conclusions:

Office: Governor

Results: Democrat Christine Gregoire (incumbent) 49.21%, Republican Dino Rossi 45.02%

Analysis: This result is almost exactly what the polls, in aggregate, were saying. Since Gregoire and Rossi essentially have been running against each other for five years now, there can't be too many people who are open to changing their minds, which is obviously good news for the governor. She knows as well as anyone that winning by 100 votes makes you just as much the governor as winning by 100,000.

Office: Attorney General

Results: Republican Rob McKenna (incumbent) 55.70%, Democrat John Ladenburg 44.30%

Analysis: McKenna appears to be safe. Ladenburg is the County Executive in Pierce County, a key swing county in Washington, which on paper looks like a good profile to run statewide. The problem: McKenna actually beat Ladenburg in Pierce County.

Office: State Treasurer

Results: Republican Allan Martin 44.34%, Democrat Jim McIntire 40.60%

Analysis: The numbers look great for Martin, until you realize that all of the votes that didn't go to him or to McIntire went to a second Democratic candidate. Without knowing a ton about this open-seat race, I'd have to think that gives McIntire an edge.

Office: Commissioner of Public Lands

Results: Republican Doug Sutherland (incumbent) 50.33%, Democrat Peter Goldmark 49.67%

Analysis: Sutherland looked like a good bet for reelection, until he was hit with allegations of sexual harassment earlier this year. There's a good chance this will be the closest race in the state.

Josh Goodman
Josh Goodman  |  Former Staff Writer
mailbox@governing.com

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