Democrat Jay Inslee slightly increased his lead in the governor’s race in updated vote tallies released Thursday afternoon, further complicating Republican Rob McKenna’s path to victory.
Inslee led McKenna statewide by 56,849 votes out of nearly 2.3 million ballots counted as of 5:15 p.m. Thursday — a lead of 51.2 percent to 48.8 percent.
Wednesday, Inslee was leading by about 49,000 votes and with 51.1 percent of the total counted.
In vote-rich King County, McKenna got 39.5 percent of the roughly 74,000 votes released Thursday. That’s somewhat better than he did among the votes in the original batch counted on election night but slightly worse than his share of the votes reported Wednesday.
King County is planning another vote dump of at least 25,000 ballots at 8:30 p.m.
In Pierce and Snohomish counties, which are often considered bellwether areas, McKenna performed slightly better than he had Tuesday and Wednesday. He got 52.4 percent of the Pierce vote (up from 50.6 percent Wednesday) and 51.5 percent of the Snohomish vote (up from 50.4 percent Wednesday. Overall, McKenna narrowly led in Pierce but trailed in Snohomish.
Nearly 600,000 ballots still remain to be counted.
As he has in the past, McKenna campaign manager Randy Pepple insisted that the math was still feasible for McKenna to win. In a video released just after King County’s updated totals were announced, Pepple sketched out the math McKenna is counting on to win.
Staff reporter Justin Mayo contributed to this report.