Washington Archive:

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Netroots Candidates Poll Round-up

Posted by James L.

There are a lot of good reasons to be proud of the netroots candidates this year: 10 of 14 House candidates have been targeted for DCCC support, and polling continues to improve virtually across the board, including for our candidates in WA, MN, and NH.

SurveyUSA released a new poll today showing Darcy Burner running neck-and-neck with freshman incumbent Republican Dave Reichert in Washington's 8th (likely voters):

Darcy Burner (D): 48
Dave Reichert (R-Inc): 50
MoE: ±4.3%

Now, I'd normally put trendlines in here, as SUSA has polled this race before in August and showed Dave Reichert with a comfy 13-point lead. The only problem, though, was that SUSA's August poll was of registered voters, not likely voters (I have no idea why they were casting such a wide net the first time around), so a trend in Burner's favor could very well be less pronounced if she has a natural advantage among likely WA-08 voters. Reichert has a very strong profile in this district, so if we're ever going to knock him off, this has to be our year.

Over in the North Star state, MN Publius has a partially leaked MN-01 poll commissioned by the SEIU:

Tim Walz (D): 46
Gil Gutknecht (R-Inc): 40
Undecided: 14

Re-elect Gutknecht: 38

Whoaaa. Maybe this is optimistic, or maybe the MoE is 15%, but you never know. MN-01 is a true swing district at R+0.9, and up until the last national "wave" election in 1994, a Democrat held this seat. The demographics are there for a potential upset, and Walz has been raising more money and bringing more noise to this district than any challenger Gutknecht has faced in recent memory. The DFL is revved up statewide by the Senatorial and Gubernatorial contests, which will be a plus for Walz, too.

And finally, over in David's favorite district, the University of New Hampshire has another poll on the Hodes-Bass battle in NH-02 (likely voters, July in parens):

Hodes (D): 36 (25)
Bass (R-Inc.): 46 (53)
Undecided: 17 (22)
(MoE: ±6.2%)

Now, UNH's polling has been all over the map this year, and it has been noted previously that their methodology is pretty fugly (although their partisan samples are much more reasonable this time), so I have no doubt that the truth is somewhat closer to the DCCC's polls on the race. I say that not only because I trust the Mellman Group more than I trust UNH, but also because the DCCC used this poll in determining whether or not to add Hodes to the Red to Blue program (which they did). Essentially, the D-trip was looking for a good picture on the race, not a stacked deck in Hodes' favor, and what they found was a surprisingly tight contest.

Great movement all around, but let's not rest on our laurels. In case you haven't been following, we need just over 600 more donors to meet our goal of 10,000 by the end of the fundraising cycle this Saturday at midnight. I know we can get there with a bang. If you haven't contributed to one of the netroots candidates this cycle, please consider doing so now--this is our last best chance to give an extra boost to strong Democrats waging uncompromising campaigns nationwide.

Posted at 12:13 AM in 2006 Elections - House, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Washington | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, August 18, 2006

WA-08: And So Do We

Posted by James L.

Here's the first sign that Ned Lamont's media campaign is gaining notice and respect from other political ad firms: check out Netroots candidate Darcy Burner's first tv ad (60 seconds, WMV). Wait for the end and try not to do a spit take.

Posted at 03:12 AM in 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut, Washington | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Sunday, June 25, 2006

WA-08: Reichert's Badge Isn't So Shiny, After All

Posted by James L.

As you are probably well aware, there are more Netroots candidates than just Ned Lamont. One of the latest is Darcy Burner, who's taking on freshman Rep. David Reichart (R). To get a good sense of what Darcy is about, and why she stands a good chance in this district, I highly recommend you take a few minutes to read the excellent piece that the Seattle alternative weekly The Stranger did on her back in March.

The 8th District of Washington state has never elected a Democrat to the House of Representatives since it was created after the 1980 census. However, the district, just outside Seattle, has become more fertile territory for liberals and Democrats in recent years; Reichart only won this open seat by four points (51-47%) in 2004 against liberal radio host Dave Ross. As The Stranger notes:

Democrats need to wrestle 15 seats from Republicans in order to take back the House, and it's in places like the 8th District that they plan to do it. The district is a large and fast-changing area that encompasses suburban developments and rural farmlands, and covers the east side of Lake Washington as far north as Duvall and as far south as Mt. Rainier National Park. It has trended increasingly liberal in recent years, voting for Democratic candidates for president and Senate. On Tuesday, this increasingly liberal bent prompted state Representative Rodney Tom, who represents a part of the 8th District, to abandon the Republican party and declare himself a Democrat so that he could be more in line with his constituency. But since its creation in 1982, the 8th District has never sent a Democrat to the House.

In 2004, when longtime Republican Congresswoman Jennifer Dunn retired from her seat in the 8th District, Dave Reichert, having gained national fame for capturing the Green River Killer as King County Sheriff, shrewdly parlayed his name recognition into a run for Dunn's seat. He won a narrow, 4-percentage-point victory [...] but that same year the ticket-splitting voters in the 8th District also picked Democrat John Kerry for president and helped send Democrat Patty Murray back to the Senate.

As was alluded to, Reichart had the edge in 2004 because, on paper, his resume was impeccable: as Sheriff of King County--by far the most populated of the 8th's three counties--he helped track down the Green River Killer, one of the most notorious and prolific serial killers in U.S. history. However, according to Roll Call (subscription only), there have been more and more noises as of late of a big bowl of administrative and ethical problems in the King County police force that were left ignored or tolerated due to either incompetence or indifference on Reichart's part. The Stakeholder managed to snag a few excerpts from the article for the masses to see:

Freshman Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.) earned his suburban Seattle seat two years ago by running a campaign centered on his storied tenure as King County sheriff.

Now Democrats hope that revelations of corruption in the sheriff’s office will taint his reputation as an ideal law enforcement officer and cripple his re-election efforts.

Since last August, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer has run a front-page news series about an array of problems in Reichert’s old fiefdom, ranging from abuse of power to officers hit with drug and domestic violence charges.

Josh Feit, news editor of the weekly Seattle newspaper The Stranger, calls the on- going revelations the “sleeping giant” of the campaign.

Reichert is not accused of any wrong- doing but some of the stories paint a portrait of an administrator unaware of questionable, and sometimes illegal, behavior by subordinates. The stories also examine whether Reichert let some bad cops retire with full pensions out of expediency rather than pursuing criminal charges.

“I think it creates a serious credibility problem because he’s shirking accountability for criminal activities that happened on his watch,” alleged Kelly Steele, spokesman for the state Democratic Party.

“Ultimately, in a broader sense, it’s the same problem with the Republican corruption in Washington D.C.,” Steele continued. “Reichert thinks that the rules don’t apply to himself and his friends.”

It seems that we've found the rare Republican that was corrupt even before coming under the influence of Tom DeLay and his cronies. I think the most interesting part of the article is this quote from an FBI agent who had the unfortunate experience of working with Sherriff Reichert:

“What’s this group doing down there?” the agent was quoted as asking. “Who’s in charge? “Where’s the accountability?”

Last December the paper wrote: “A few weeks before that, two sheriff’s commanders also recommended [a deputy] be fired for breaking department rules. Instead, Reichert — then in the midst of a hot Congressional campaign — allowed [the officer] to quietly slip into retirement about two weeks later, records show.”

It seems that Reichart's biggest advantage--his record as King County Sheriff--is slowly being eroded as his Republican-style (ie. incompetent) administrative skills are being brought to light. For the record, I think turning this race into a referendum on Reichart's abilities as Sheriff is a risky move, but personally tying Reichart to general Republican incompetence will be a much easier sell given these allegations.

PS: Here's the money shot of Congressman Dave and one of his closest friends that you'll be seeing again and again in this race.

Posted at 08:44 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Washington | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

WA-08: Darcy Burner Added to Netroots Page

Posted by DavidNYC

I'm terribly swamped (not to mention exhausted) at the moment, having just moved home after three years in DC. So I can't do this announcement justice, but Matt Stoller certainly can: We've just added Darcy Burner, who is running in Washington's 8th congressional district, to the Netroots Candidates ActBlue page. I encourage you to read Matt's post to get a sense of why Burner was chosen, and to learn more about her.

Also, please visit the ActBlue page as we've updated it to include local blogs covering the relevant candidates and races. If you have any other suggestions for blogs covering NY-29, MT-Sen, etc., please post them in comments. And thanks for sharing your thoughts in this great experiment.

Posted at 12:56 AM in 2006 Elections - House, Washington | Comments (25) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, November 14, 2005

WA-Sen: Comfortable Lead for Cantwell

Posted by DavidNYC

Freshman Sen. Maria Cantwell is often thought to be one of the more endangered Democratic incumbents. The CW says that senators are at their most vulnerable during their first re-election campaign, and it's probably true, up to a point. Three of the eleven freshman senators elected during the GOP sweep in 1994 lost in 2000: Rod Grams (MN), John Ashcroft (MO), and Spencer Abraham (MI), who had originally taken a Dem open seat. And Cantwell won by just the slimmest of margins - not even one-hundredth of one percent of the vote (barely 2,000 out of 2.3 million cast). So the fears seem reasonable.

Fortunately for Cantwell, two things (possibly somewhat related) have happened. First, the WA GOP wasn't able to recruit a top-shelf candidate, just a very rich one (Safeco CEO Mike McGavick). And second, there's a strong and growing tide in favor of Dems nationwide, which is helping to erase any "natural" disadvantages that freshman incumbents have. Rasmussen, at least in the early going, confirms this (likely voters, no trendlines):

Cantwell: 52
McGavick: 37
Other: 3
Undecided: 8
(MoE: ±4.5%)

There is (as there often is) one cautionary note here: McGavick's name recognition still lags appreciably behind Cantwell's. She's in the 90s, as you'd expect of a sitting senator, while he barely hits 70. If there's one thing that rich guys are good at, it's increasing their name rec. As soon as McGavick starts doing that, more of his natural base of support will come aboard. But with Cantwell already polling over 52%, she's in very good shape to hold her seat.

P.S. Rasmussen says her favorability rating is 57-37. Her SUSA job approval isn't all that great (52-37) - only good enough for 69th - but it'll probably do.

Posted at 03:10 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Washington | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, October 14, 2005

WA-Sen: Cantwell (D) vs. McGavick (R)

Posted by DavidNYC

Fundraising numbers from the Pacific Northwest, featuring Democratic incumbent Maria Cantwell vs. Republican Mike McGavick:

Cantwell 3Q Amount Raised: $1.5M
McGavick 3Q Amount Raised: $710K

Cantwell Cash-on-Hand: $3.8M
McGavick Cash-on-Hand: D/K

The Cantwell campaign claims that she's raised more money than any other Dem Senate candidate except Hillary Clinton. A couple of other potential GOP candidates are in the mix, but they haven't kicked off their campaigns yet. If memory serves, both Cantwell and McGavick are independently wealthy, correct? This race could get very expensive - and very nasty - very fast.

I do think, though, that it's a good idea for candidates who could otherwise self-finance to get out there and raise money, especially from the grassroots, particularly considering how easy it is to do so online these days. Cantwell says that 22,000 Washingtonians have donated to her campaign this year. That's 22,000 people who now have a reason to remain invested in her campaign - and a not-inconsiderable fraction will wind up volunteering or helping to raise yet more money. It's a virtuous cycle, and it firms up your base.

Posted at 10:43 AM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Washington | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

WA-04: Doc Hastings Abramoff Scandal

Posted by Bob Brigham


WASHINGTON - The lawmaker who will head a House inquiry into trips that lobbyist Jack Abramoff arranged for House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has his own links to the lobbyist.

At one point, Abramoff touted Rep. Doc Hastings' relationship with his firm in a pitch to a prospective client.

As chairman of the House ethics committee, Hastings, R-Wash., could play a big role in determining DeLay's future. DeLay has asked the panel to review his travels, which include trips arranged by Abramoff when the lobbyist worked for the Seattle-based Preston Gates firm.

Abramoff cited close connections to Hastings in a 1995 letter to the Northern Mariana Islands government in which he urged the government to hire his firm. At the time, Hastings served on a House subcommittee that oversaw the Marianas and was considering Democratic proposals to impose minimum wage, immigration and other U.S. laws on the Pacific commonwealth, which opposed them.

The Republican leadership is in full cover-up mode. This is yet more proof that the GOP leaders will resort to near anything to cover-up Republican corruption. This is not an excellent way to conduct an investigation:

The records from the law firm, Preston Gates & Ellis, show that the firm's former star lobbyist, Jack Abramoff, a close friend of Mr. DeLay who is now the focus of a federal corruption investigation, boasted to a client in the mid-1990's that the firm had "excellent" ties to Mr. Hastings. The firm repeatedly billed the client for meetings and telephone conversations between Mr. Abramoff's lobbying team and Mr. Hastings's staff.


Posted at 05:18 PM in Washington | Technorati

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

DCCC: Health Insurance for the Troops

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the subscription-only Hotline:

Using Memorial Day as a backdrop, the DCCC went up in 12 CDs over the weekend to pick at Republicans for opposing military benefit expansion.

John Havens, who identifies himself as a retired adjutant general in the Missouri National Guard, says in the 60-second radio spot that "thousands of brave National Guard members and reservists" serving on active duty "lose the same health insurance other soldiers can count on" when they return home. An announcer, noting that Congress recently "defeated a plan to extend health coverage to members of the Guard, the Reserves and their families," mentions a Republican who opposed the plan and asks listeners to tell the member "he owes those who serve our nation more than Memorial Day speeches. "

The spot takes issue with the members for opposing a procedural motion to H.R. 1815 that would have expanded the TRICARE insurance program to National Guard members and Reservists.

The targets?

According to a DCCC spokeswoman, the spot airing in airing this week in a "strategic buy" covering the home districts of 12 GOP lawmakers: Vito Fossella (NY 13), Sam Graves (MO 06), John Hostettler (IN 08), Tim Murphy (PA 06), Bob Ney (OH 18), Richard Pombo (CA 11), Dave Reichert (WA 08), Rick Renzi (AZ 01), Rob Simmons (CT 02), Mike Sodrel (IN 09), Charles Taylor (NC 11) and Ed Whitfield (KY 01). Different versions of the spot mention each representative by name.

These 12 Representatives should be ashamed -- our troops deserve better.

Posted at 04:33 PM in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington | Comments (2) | Technorati

Monday, May 02, 2005

WA-Gov: Judge Allows Proportional Analysis

Posted by Bob Brigham


WENATCHEE, Wash. - The Republicans won an important victory Monday in their legal challenge to the election of Gov. Christine Gregoire when a judge allowed them to use a type of statistical analysis to try to prove illegal votes swayed the race.

Republican Dino Rossi is trying to have the election results from November declared invalid. Rossi won the first count and a machine recount, but his Democratic opponent won by 129 votes in a hand recount of 2.9 million ballots. [...]

Superior Court Judge John Bridges gave the GOP the go-ahead to apply "proportional analysis" to the illegal votes.

Using proportional analysis, they want the court to subtract illegal votes from both candidates' totals according to precinct voting patterns. For example, if 10 illegal votes came from a precinct that voted 60 percent for Gregoire and 40 percent for Rossi, six votes would be deducted from Gregoire's total and four from Rossi's.

Democrats said the method amounts to statistical guessing. At the same time, they have been collecting evidence of illegal votes in GOP-leaning counties, and plan to use the same proportional analysis in court.

The trial is scheduled to begin in three weeks and is certain to be followed by appeals.

It seems the GOP is in favor of Activist Judges if the decisions help further right-wing power grabs. Washington has a governor, but the GOP desire for absolute power means that a democratically elected Democrats should be dumped by an Activist Judge so the GOP can get a do-over for a race they lost.

Posted at 04:05 PM in Washington | Comments (1) | Technorati

Thursday, April 28, 2005

WA-Sen: Dino Rossi Not Running for Senate

Posted by Bob Brigham

King County Journal:

Dino Rossi on Wednesday said he will not run for the U.S. Senate, citing his desire to have an impact on the political culture of Washington state and the impact that serving in the other Washington would have on his young family. [...]

Chris Vance, chairman of the state Republican Party, said Wednesday that while he doesn't think Rossi will run, others may not take his "no" at face value.

"There are people and organizations who will want to change his mind," Vance said. "The senate campaign committee will try to persuade him otherwise."

The reason Republicans have urged Rossi to run is that they are worried Chris Vance will run and make even a big ass of himself than Rossi would. I just posted a look at the GOP primary and general election implications and since it was written understanding that Rossi's decision would come first, I'll let it stand for now as a first look at former Congressman Rick White, and Safeco President and CEO Mike McGavick.

Posted at 10:06 AM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Washington | Technorati

Monday, April 25, 2005

WA-Sen: Republicans Can't, Well, Beat Maria

Posted by Bob Brigham

Seattle Times:

Sitting in the opulent Senate dining room, stirring more than eating a bowl of bean soup and sipping a Diet Coke, Cantwell shrugged off the idea that she should be running scared.

"It's kind of good to be that (top GOP target) right now," she said, sounding more calm and collected than she did during her last campaign. "It gets people galvanized. It gets people paying attention. It is like getting up for the big soccer game Sunday."

She doesn't even have an opponent and already she is working the word, "soccer" into interviews.

Republicans are working feverishly to proffer more mainstream candidates who can win statewide. If the goal is to defeat a sitting senator, best to do it after the first term. The GOP plans to attack Cantwell as a weak leader out of sync with tax-averse Washington voters.

First, however, the party needs to come up with a name challenger.

So who are the potential candidates? Do any of them have a chance?

Here is the current Cattle Call:

[Dino] Rossi: Rossi would benefit from pent-up feeling that he was robbed of the governor's title. That felt more true about three months ago. The downside is Rossi can no longer hide from social issues, as he did during the governor's race. Rossi is anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage. He no longer can say the job he seeks doesn't have anything to do with such topics. He also loses his status as a change agent, which served him well in the governor's race. Republicans are in power. He is another vote for an over-empowered George Bush.

Rossi can claim he was robbed all he wants, but that will only remind people he is a loser. This would be a higher profile race and Rossi's extreme views are way out of the mainstream. Washington voters will be inherently worried about giving George Bush another seat in the Senate, in Rossi's case they would be giving Bush an extreme, right-wing vote. Rossi is being considered out of respect, not because he would make a good candidate.

Former Congressman Rick White: This grudge match would be a revival of the 1st District congressional battle of 1994. White beat Cantwell in the Republican landslide and held on for two terms until 1998. The first question about White is, where the heck has he been? He is currently president and CEO of TechNet, the technology network, an association of high-tech CEOs based in Palo Alto, Calif. White lives in Washington and commutes to California, but he would have some explaining to do.

Trying to explain that he commutes to California is not going to contrast well with a Senator talking about Saturday morning soccer games. White has been out-of-town and every mention of this fact will remind voters that he is also out-of-touch.

Safeco President and CEO Mike McGavick: McGavick, former chief of staff for Sen. Gorton, is the wonder executive who turned Safeco around. He has politics and policy in his blood. If I were Cantwell, McGavick is the challenger I would least like to run against. He would bring a businessman's touch and political savvy gained in Gorton's shop. But he earns a high salary at Safeco and may not like the legislator role. A CEO is a CEO, unaccustomed to collaborating with 99 peers and making two cross-continental flights a week. Still, McGavick has charm and a knockout résumé.

This is yet another example of how thin of a bench the Washington GOP has to work with. Turning to an outsider for a major race a clear indication to Republicans that even if they could work up through the ranks, it wouldn't matter. I don't see him running and the fact that his name is being mentioned is a clear sign of desperation of the part of the GOP.

[GOP State Chair Chris] Vance: Vance is the outspoken, in-your-face chairman of the state GOP who has never wanted to be just party chairman. He ran for state superintendent of public instruction, a nonpartisan post, in 1996 and lost. He ran for the 9th Congressional District in 2000 and was beaten by Adam Smith, collecting a mere 35 percent of the vote. Landslide Vance lives and breathes politics. He would run and doorbell at a pace that would tire the Energizer Bunny. He is the fallback candidate if the others don't materialize.

Vance is a two time loser and a complete nut. He made an ass of himself every time is stepped in front of a camera during the recount. I'm sure he would love to run and I would love him to run also. Vance would get stomped.

Posted at 02:45 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Washington | Comments (1) | Technorati

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

CT-2: Rob Simmons challenged to refuse DeLay Money

Posted by Bob Brigham

Campaign for America's Future:

The Public Campaign Action Fund begins a $25,000 buy of television ads also calling on Rep. DeLay to resign this week in three districts represented by Republican members Rep. Rob Simmons, R-Conn., Republican National Committee Chair Rep. Tom Reynolds, R-N.Y., and House Ethics Committee Chair Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash.

The Campaign for America’s Future spot is available for viewing at www.ourfuture.org. Text of the ad follows:

“Without DeLay” TV :30

Female narrator:

He has scoffed at the law.

Male narrator:

Tom Delay. A pattern of abusing authority.

Female narrator:

Repeatedly the House Ethics Committee has found Tom Delay guilty of serious rules violations.

Male narrator:

Tom DeLay is a national embarrassment. He should resign his leadership position, if not his office.

Female narrator:

It’s time for Republicans to stand up and demand Delay’s resignation

Male narrator:

Congressman Simmons. Refuse the tens of thousands of dollars Tom DeLay’s PAC just raised for you, and clean up Congress without DeLay.

Posted at 07:17 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, Activism, Connecticut, New York, Washington | Technorati

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Governor-elect Christine Gregoire

Posted by Bob Brigham

Gregoire wins by 130 votes. Happy Holidays Governor Gregoire!

Memo to Governor-elect Gregoire: When it comes time for re-election, please don't run such a cautious campaign. There is no excuse for you not having won in a blow-out. Learn from your mistake and be bold as you go forward to lead Washington.

Posted at 08:26 PM in Washington | Comments (17) | Technorati

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

10 Votes

Posted by Tim Tagaris

From King 5 in Seattle seconds ago.

King County has finished its recount. Christine Gregoire leads with 10 votes now but this figure has not yet been certified.

Combine that with the Washington State Supreme Court decision earlier today that allows for the counting of 700 previously uncounted ballots from King County; at face value, this appears good for Democrats...

However, despite the fact that King County went for Gregoire, maybe the Supreme Court decision was not necessarily a victory for the Dems?  With such a small margin of victory, and a relatively small number of ballots outstanding (700), I hesitate to assume anything.

I am sure there is going to be MUCH more to come.

Posted at 07:08 PM in Washington | Comments (1) | Technorati

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Washington Governor's Race

Posted by Tim Tagaris

KOMO TV (ABC) in Seattle Reports:

Democratic State Party Chairman Paul Berendt says recount results from King County give Democrat Christine Gregoire an eight-vote victory over Republican Dino Rossi in the governor's race.

The report is very preliminary, and neither King County nor the Republican Party can immediately confirm the hand recount results.

The official results will be released tomorrow at 3:30 PST.  The ABC affiliate continues:

King County, which includes Seattle, has finished tallying its 900,000 ballots, but election officials say they still need to reconcile differences in the precinct totals before formally releasing its results Wednesday.

Eight votes.  Amazing.  I am going to look into whether or not this is the closest state-wide race ever.  I imagine it has to be.  Who says every vote doesn't count?

Closest Statewide Elections (will add as I find):

Ohio: Lee Fisher (D) vs. Paul Pfeifer (R) for State Attorney General in 1990: Fisher wins by 1,234

Utah: Herbert Maw vs. J. Bracken Lee for Governor in 1994.  Maw wins by 1000 votes.

Minnesota: Karl Rolvaag vs. Elmer Anderson for Governor in 1962: Rovlaag wins by 58 votes.

Pennsylvania: Susan Gantman (R) vs. John Driscoll (D) for State Superior Court in 2003: Gantman wins by 28 votes.

Michigan: Mike Cox (R) vs. Gary Peters (D) for Attorney General in 2002: Cox wins by 5,200 votes - making it the closest statewide election in 50 years (best I could find).

New York: Elliot Spitzer (D) vs. Dennis Vacco (R) for Attorney General in 1998.  Spitzer wins (looking for total)

Posted at 11:57 PM in Washington | Comments (9) | Technorati

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

WA Gov. Republican Rossi Wins by 42 Votes

Posted by Tim Tagaris

It appears that the first (of many) recounts has been completed and Republican Dino Rossi will be victor as certified by the Washington Secretary of State.  The final tally, according to King 5 was 42 votes.

Democratic Challenger, Gregoire, trailed by a few hundred votes heading into the recount of the county that provided her the best chance to rebound, King County (Seattle).  The results in King County were as follows:

  Christine Gregoire D  + 593
  Dino Rossi R  + 348
  Ruth Bennett L  + 30
  Write-in    + 82

Unfortunately, it was not enough to put the Democrat over the top.  There is a press conference at 3 P.M. where the pronouncement will be made official.  You can even call in and listen.  From a press release:

Reporters who are unable to attend can still listen to the press conference by calling (360) 357-2903 and entering the code number 10068 followed by the pound key.

All of this comes on the heels of a race in the Montana State Legislature being decided by TWO votes.  What makes it more interesting is that the balance of power in the lower house hinges on this race.  Story HERE.

There is also a recount in a Texas State House race, where the Democratic challenger apparently won the race by 32 votes against a very powerful member of the State Republican Party.  There will, of course, be a re-count.  Rules of engagement to be determined by the people who brought you the crazily gerrymandered Congressional Districts.  Story HERE

So, let this thread serve as a discussion about the recounts and their results, and the nonsensical nature of election systems that might allow for a different result each and every time a recount is conducted.  I am not so sure how healthy that is for democracy.


Posted at 04:19 PM in Washington | Comments (3) | Technorati

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Four Gallup Polls (MO, OH, PA & WA)

Posted by DavidNYC

Gallup released four new polls today, for Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania & Washington. All were taken after the convention, and all pushed leaners. (The questioning: "If undecided: 'As of today, do you lean more toward Kerry and Edwards, the Democrats, or Bush and Cheney, the Republicans?'") That means that a certain amount of Bush's support has to be quite soft. Polling firms like to do this because it produces "cleaner" data, but I actually think it makes the picture look murkier.

Missouri first (registered voters, no trendlines):

Kerry: 42
Bush: 53
Other/Undecided: 5
(MoE: ��4%)

Gallup also polled LVs here, who favored Bush by a 55-41 margin. In mid-July, Gallup had the race tied at 48-48 among LVs. The fact is, though, we know that Bush will not triple or quadruple his 2000 margin in Missouri this time around.

And Ohio (registered voters, mid-August in parens):

Kerry: 47 (52)
Bush: 48 (42)
Other/Undecided: 5 (6)
(MoE: ��4%)

Similarly here, we knew that Kerry wasn't going to win Ohio by ten points, so it's hardly surprising to see this race tighten up. What is very intesting is how skewed the LV numbers are for OH. Gallup has Bush up 52-44 among LVs, but as you can see, just one point up among RVs. And again, Bush isn't going to win OH by eight points (no matter what Zogby might say), so this just seems like pretty conclusive proof that Gallup's likely voter models skew absurdly Republican.

On to Pennsylvania (registered voters, late August in parens):

Kerry: 47 (49)
Bush: 47 (44)
Other/Undecided: 6 (7)
(MoE: ��4%)

Unlike OH, the LVs don't show a big jump for Bush - he's up 48-47. However, back in August, the LVs had Bush doing four points better and Kerry doing two points worse than the RV horserace that month (which was, as indicated above, 49-44 Kerry).

And finally Washington (registered voters, no trendlines):

Kerry: 51
Bush: 43
Other/Undecided: 6
(MoE: ��4%)

The other/undecided category includes two points for Nader. (The other polls didn't ask about him.) For once, LVs don't show a big difference: 52-44 Kerry.

Detailed poll results are available here.

Posted at 12:52 PM in Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington | Comments (1) | Technorati

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

SUSA Polls Suggest a Swing State Bounce for Kerry

Posted by DavidNYC

Hmm... is there evidence of a swing state bounce for Kerry? Check out the polls below & decide for yourselves.

A huge jump for Kerry in Pennsylvania (PDF, likely voters, June in parens):

Kerry: 53 (47)
Bush: 41 (46)
Other/Undecided: 7 (7)
(MoE: ��3.7%)

This lead is clearly well outside the MoE. Part of it surely must be because the June sample was split equally between Dems and Republicans (41% apiece), while the August poll was 46% Dem and just 34% GOP. Ruy Teixeira has ably explained why it doesn't make sense to weight polls by party ID - there are a lot of reasons not to do so. (For example, one reason why more Dems might be responding is that there is simply a surge in people identifying as Democrats.) I'd be very curious to see if this trend holds in SUSA's next PA poll.

Meanwhile, Arlen Specter saw a big drop in his support, but challenger Joe Hoeffel seems unable to increase his poll numbers.

Another big jump - and a surprisingly close race - in Tennessee (PDF, likely voters, June in parens):

Kerry: 46 (41)
Bush: 48 (51)
Other/Undecided: 6 (8)
(MoE: ��4.2%)

Like many other observers, I've mostly written off TN for this election - and for the future - on the presidential level. (Don't get me wrong, though: I definitely think this is a state where we can compete strongly on the congressional level.) Al Gore's residual Tennessee background definitely kept the state closer than it otherwise would have been in 2000, so a poll result like this is certainly a surprise. So I'm still going to follow the "This is just one poll" rule - if you don't, you wind up standing on the ledge of a building because of one wacky New Jersey or California survey which shows George Bush one point behind.

And lastly, good old Washington State, where it's all over but the voting (PDF, likely voters, June in parens):

Kerry: 51 (49)
Bush: 43 (44)
Other/Undecided: 5 (7)
(MoE: ��4.2%)

I've grown pretty convinced that Bush has no shot in WA. It definitely has to be considered a second-tier swing state: If we win it, it doesn't mean we've won the whole thing, but if we've lost it, it almost certainly means we're hitting the Jack. I don't think WA is as hopeless for Bush as LA is for us, but it's approaching that territory.

It also appears that the Senate campaign of one-time giant-slayer Republican George Nethercutt is crashing and burning as well. SUSA shows him down eleven points. It's hard to prise apart cause and effect here, but Bush certainly isn't helping Nethercutt and vice-versa. Speaking of which, an internal poll conducted by the campaign of the incumbent, Sen. Patty Murray, showed Kerry ahead 49-41. (Available on Polling Report.)

Some general notes: SUSA only asks horserace questions, so no favorability ratings for any of these polls. Also, the low number of undecideds may have a lot to do with how SUSA words their questions: "If the election for President of the United States were today, and you were standing in the voting booth right now, who would you vote for?" (Argh - as a grammar geek, it infuriates me that they say "who" and not "whom," especially since they manage to get the subjunctive "were" right.) Anyhow, I think that wording exerts as much pressure as possible, so it may mask the true number of undecideds. But given that undecideds are expected to break our way, this probably doesn't matter much.

Posted at 08:05 AM in Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Washington | Comments (4) | Technorati

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Moore Polls WA Yet Again

Posted by DavidNYC

Moore Information may be run by a bunch of Republicans, but the gang who runs that shop is close to my heart in one respect: They like to poll early and often. It was just two weeks ago that they had a poll out in Washington, and yet here they are with another one (early June trendlines in parens):

Kerry: 43 (45)
Bush: 43 (44)
Nader: 4 (4)
Undecided: 10 (7)
(MoE: ��4%)

As you can see, this is essentially unchanged from a fortnight ago. (Ooh, I got to say fortnight!) I got these results from Polling Report, and I don't see any news coverage of `em yet. But Moore tends to post their poll results on their website here. (The most recent update there is the last WA poll, though.)

Posted at 07:03 PM in Washington | Comments (3) | Technorati

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Narrow Race in WA According to Moore

Posted by DavidNYC

Moore Information, which recently did a poll in Oregon, has a new Washington poll out. (Moore, you'll recall, is a Republican outfit, but one that - at least for now - I'm willing to regard as fair-minded.) No trendlines available:

Kerry: 45
Bush: 44
Nader: 4
Undecided: 7
(MoE: ��4%)

The newspaper article linked above seems to have access to more internals than Polling Report is showing, but there's nothing apparently on favorability. One slightly distressing finding: Bush is leading among independents, 40 to 36. Most state polls tend to show Kerry favored among this group.

One thing I've often heard people say is, "I didn't know Washington was a swing state" or even "Washington is not a swing state." I disagree, and I think poll results like this back me up. In 2000, Gore won the state by less than 6 points. Granted, this was a much wider margin than in neighboring Oregon, but it's too close for comfort. Both campaigns are on the air in WA (well, not Team Bush - they're dark for a couple of weeks), and I think it's a legit battleground.

P.S. The last WA poll had Kerry up four points.

(Thanks to Rimjob.)

Posted at 02:03 AM in Washington | Comments (7) | Technorati

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Kerry Up in WA

Posted by DavidNYC

Mason-Dixon just did a poll for a "private public policy client" in Washington state (no trendlines available):

Kerry: 46
Bush: 42
Nader: 2
Undecided: 10
(MoE: ��4%)

No other information (such as favorability ratings) is available.

(Via PollingReport.com).

Posted at 06:21 PM in Washington | Comments (2) | Technorati

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