Update, 7 p.m.
Rob McKenna improved his standing in King County in updated vote tallies released Wednesday evening, but he still trailed Jay Inslee in the race for governor.
McKenna took 40.6 percent of the 51,608 ballots counted Wednesday, an improvement on the 36.94 percent he had among the roughly 555,000 counted Tuesday. But Inslee still increased his lead in raw vote totals in the county, all but erasing gains made by McKenna in other counties earlier Wednesday.
Statewide, Inslee led McKenna by 49,000 votes. The 51.2 percent to 48.8 percent spread was nearly the same as was reported on election night.
There are still an estimated 1 million ballots left to be counted, but about 350,000 of those were in King County, which has been heavily supporting Inslee.
Original post, 5:55 p.m.
Rob McKenna pulled within 46,000 votes of Jay Inslee in the first updated governor’s race vote totals released Wednesday afternoon, although the state was awaiting new numbers from large, Inslee-leaning King County.
Riding gains in more than a half dozen counties, McKenna slightly improved to 48.86 percent of the overall vote as of 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, an improvement from his 48.68 percent on election night.
But a closer analysis painted a more complicated picture for the Republican state attorney general, because the 11 counties that reported first included several where McKenna was expected to perform well.
McKenna took 52.1 percent from those counties in the votes released Wednesday after taking 52.3 percent in votes released Tuesday, according to a Seattle Times analysis.
One exception was in Snohomish County. In that county, which is considered a bellwether for the state, McKenna took 50.4 percent of the votes released Wednesday. He trailed in Tuesday’s returns with just 48.1 percent of the vote.
Overall, more than 100,000 new ballots were counted by 5:30 p.m., bringing the statewide turnout to 52.7 percent. State officials are expecting overall turnout of 81 percent by the time all ballots are counted.
King County, which went overwhelmingly for Inslee in votes reported Tuesday, is planning to release another 50,000 tonight. But the county delayed its 4:30 p.m. planned release time until 6:30 p.m. due to mechanical problems.
In a short video posted online, McKenna insisted he will ultimately prevail over Democratic former Congressman Jay Inslee because, McKenna predicted, late votes will break his way.
Staff Reporter Justin Mayo contributed to this post.