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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

September 14, 2012 at 6:00 AM

Friday briefing: Gender gap in gov race?; Ferguson in Eastern Washington; chamber v. I-1185

Happy Friday:

Gubernatorial gender gap? A spokesman for Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna, Randy Pepple, has said a few times that McKenna does not face a gender gap. The gender gap, as you may gather, is the difference between the percentage of women and the percentage of men voting for a given candidate. Often, especially in presidential elections, male voters favor Republican candidates, and women lean toward Democratic candidates.

But this new ad, ahem, makes you wonder.

Thursday,  Pepple explained the ad like this:

“This ad points to Rob’s record of achievement, something which Congressman Inslee is lacking.  Additionally, it highlights issues which are important to an important swing audience – suburban women voters.
The campaign’s  focus is on putting Rob over 50%, and the majority of the undecided are women voters – only makes sense to make sure you are talking about issues they care about.”

A KING-TV SurveyUSA poll, by the by, shows a gender gap in what has been called one of the hottest governor’s race in the country.  Here’s is how KING-TV’s Robert Mak described it:

“Women favor Inslee over McKenna by a big margin (53 percent to 39 percent), while men narrowly favor McKenna (48 percent to 45 percent),” wrote Mak.

Still staring at primary election results:

Statewide results from the Aug. 7 primary
in the attorney general’s race.
Source: Secretary of State

This map showing votes from the Aug. 7 primary prompts a few questions. I understand Democrat Bob Ferguson, candidate for attorney general, beating his Republican rival in counties shown in blue — but not the three in eastern Washington. Those counties, more often than not, vote Republican, with the occasional exception of Spokane or Whitman counties, the latter being the home of Washington State University. But in this case, all three counties voting for the Democrat for a law-and-order type of position seemed unusual. Conservative Republican Steve Pidgeon was in the race during the primary and was a factor.  But one wonders if there is some sort of name familiarity thing working in Ferguson’s favor there. You know, a politician or other famous person named Ferguson on the east side? What gives?


Valerie Rongey, vice chair of the Washington State Democratic Party, lives in Spokane. She noted that Sen. Maria Cantwell, a Democrat, also sort of surprisingly, won both Spokane and Asotin counties in her race against state Sen. Mike Baumgartner. It’s highly unusual for a Democrat like Cantwell to take Asotin County. Rongey then looked up the name Bob Ferguson and found a martial arts instructor with that name in Pullman, a Washington State University professor and a musician-turned-country record producer who graduated from WSU many years ago. Keep an eye on the general election totals in those same counties.



Endorsements: There are a ba-jillion endorsements of various candidates and statewide initiatives at this point in the election cycle — sometimes too many to keep track of.  But one un-endorsement stands out, the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce’s decision to oppose the tax threshold required by Initiative 1185. If the measure passes, it would continue the requirement that state lawmakers vote by a two-thirds majority to approve a tax increase. To be clear, the chamber endorsed the son of I-1185, Initiative 1053, but opposes the idea this time around. Read for yourself, but the gist of it is that the chamber now believes the measure would make it difficult to pay for investments in transportation and education.


Brits and Portlanders: Portland, one of the hippest cities in the U.S., is coming around to fluoridation ever so slowly. But finally the city is prepared to boost the public bite.

Comments | More in Attorney General, Governor, homepage, Politics Northwest | Topics: Attorney General, Bob Ferguson, gender gap


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