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Politics Northwest

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

September 26, 2012 at 6:00 AM

Wednesday briefing: Pols and Hawks; Sno. Co., center of known universe — who knew?

Good Morning:

Presidential and potential vice-presidential thoughts on the Seahawks-Packers game: President Obama called the refs’ decision in that controversial Monday night football game, ultimately “won” by the Seahawks, “terrible.” Do you think Obama figures Washington state is in the bag for him, and he is therefore free to play to Wisconsin fans? Or was it just a completely off-the-wall call? And  vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan, who is from Wisconsin, tried to turn the bad referees’ decision into a slam on Obama and, somewhat illogically, his budget office.

The view from New York, sort of: One of the most data-driven political blogs in the country is Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight regular analysis in the New York Times. This guy actually uses numbers — gazillions of them — from polls and other  sources to form conclusions.  Interviewing University of Washington political science professor, Mark Smith, the blog does a take-out on Washington state politics and how it has been trending Democratic in recent years. The blog also focuses on Snohomish County and its importance to Washington state elections.

Here is an excerpt:

       “The Bellwether: Snohomish County

Anchored by Everett, where Boeing has a large plant, Snohomish County is “far enough away from the urban core to become somewhat less liberal, but not out in a rural area that becomes conservative,” Mr. Smith said.

Accordingly, it has been an almost exact barometer of Washington’s political mood in the last three presidential elections. Snohomish County was just one percentage point more Democratic than the state in 2000 and 2008, and it matched the statewide vote perfectly in 2004.”

Other experts say Washington elections are won and lost in Pierce County. Both counties matter quite a bit.

Open mike, not quite karaoke: Seattle City Councilmember Tim Burgess is not doing a great job of keeping his mayoral aspirations secret. The smart bet is that he will announce his candidacy for the 2013 mayor’s race some time after the election. But the other day, some City Hall watchers caught Burgess –– with his mike on. After hearing Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn’s give his budget address, Burgess said jokingly, in a whisper, “That was a good campaign speech.” The irony? Council President Sally Clark earlier — by 40 minutes — warned council members that even though they are at times, “at ease,” that “your mikes are still on.” Yes, they are.

Oregon’s pot initiative lagging: The Oregonian says the big money is not coming in to boost Oregon’s pot initiative but donors are more bullish on Washington’s and Colorado’s pot measures. Turns out the pot initiative in Oregon is not as popular as it is in Washington and Colorado. Latest polling in Washington showed Initiative 502 at about 50 percent approval, which is usually not enough, but Oregon’s Measure 80 is even less popular.

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Comments | More in homepage, Marijuana, Politics Northwest, Seattle City Council | Topics: city councilmember tim burgess, packers, Paul Ryan

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