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Politics Northwest

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

November 6, 2012 at 10:50 PM

Top McKenna aide: No idea who will be next governor

Who’s the next governor going to be? Rob McKenna’s longest-serving aide says he has no idea.

The patterns of all-mail voting still haven’t been parsed in enough detail to support any reasonably accurate prognostications, Chris Johnson says.

“We can’t predict who votes early, in the middle or late,” he said.

Johnson is an old political hand. He went to work for McKenna in 1995, during the GOP gubernatorial candidate’s first run for King County Council. Now he’s McKenna’s policy director in the Attorney General’s office.

In the old days, Johnson says, everyone knew that “absentee” voters tended to be more conservative. They elected Tim Hill, King County’s last Republican executive, in the 1980s.

But now everyone’s an absentee voter, Johnson says. In the brave, new all-mail world, do Republicans tend to vote early, while Democrats wait until the last minute? Or  is it the other way around? Is there a difference at all? No one’s figured that out yet, he said.

The bottom line? “I’m not predicting an outcome here,” Johnson said as the state GOP’s election-night bash wound down Tuesday night.

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