Topic: 2012 gubernatorial race
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December 3, 2012 at 5:00 AM
Democratic Gov.-elect Jay Inslee can thank overwhelming support in Seattle for his victory over Republican Rob McKenna in the 2012 gubernatorial race.
A Seattle Times analysis of precinct vote returns shows Inslee carried Seattle by 78.4 to 21.4 percent over McKenna — his strongest showing of any city in King and Snohomish counties. (See map below – click for larger image.)
Inslee beat McKenna statewide 51.5 to 48.5 percent — a margin of about 95,000 votes. But inside Seattle, Inslee beat McKenna by close to 195,000 votes.
In other words, if Seattle didn’t exist, McKenna theoretically would have won the state by 100,000 votes. But Seattle does exist (much to the annoyance of Republicans) and remains the key to Democratic control of the state’s highest political offices.
Outside Seattle, Inslee also drew strong support in some close-in suburbs, including Shoreline, Renton, Tukwila and Burien.
McKenna, the two-term attorney general, ran up his highest King County percentages in wealthy enclaves like Clyde Hill, Medina and Hunts Point, as well as some Southeast King County cities, including Black Diamond and Enumclaw.
To have a shot at overcoming his Seattle deficit, McKenna needed to win swing areas such as Bellevue, Federal Way, Woodinville and Issaquah.
In 2004, Republican Dino Rossi won those cities on the way to a 40 percent total in King County, and a famous near-win in the gubernatorial race.
But McKenna narrowly lost all those cities. He even fell short in his hometown of Bellevue, garnering about 48 percent of the vote.
(One more detail: McKenna also did slightly worse in Seattle than Rossi did in 2004. Rossi that year nabbed 23.8 percent of the city vote, a couple points above McKenna’s 21.4 mark this year.)
November 7, 2012 at 11:18 AM
Democrat Jay Inslee isn’t waiting for all the votes to be counted in the governor’s race: He’s starting to assemble a transition team for his administration.
In a news conference at his campaign headquarters in South Seattle, Inslee said he is “very confident that we will be in a position to lead the state of Washington for the next four years” and that he’d start putting together a transition team to be named after the votes are finalized.
“We feel it’s important to do that. We have some big challenges and great opportunities and we want to hit that ground running,” Inslee said.
Inslee said he’d be looking for people who will bring a “breath of fresh air” to state government, represent the entire state and focus on his priorities of job creation, health-care and education reform.
Inslee held a fairly commanding 50,000-vote lead over Republican Rob McKenna after Tuesday night’s vote count, buttressed by a big margin in King County.
McKenna would need a major turnaround in vote trends in the coming days to have any shot of winning the race. But the McKenna campaign was not giving up.
His campaign manager, Randy Pepple, sent a late-night email to supporters asking them to contribute $5 to keep up Republican efforts to ensure ballots are counted. “We knew this was going to be close and we knew this was not going to be easy. We have just a little more work until we win this,” Pepple wrote.
November 6, 2012 at 8:34 PM
With heavy support in King County, Democrat Jay Inslee moved to an early lead over Republican Rob McKenna in Washington’s gubernatorial contest as early vote counts were released Tuesday night.
Inslee led with nearly 52 percent of the statewide vote, compared with 48% for McKenna, according to statewide and King County figures posted after 8 p.m.
The race remained too close to call, as votes were still coming in. But a key indicator was King County, where Inslee was ahead 63 percent to 37 percent. Based on previous elections, McKenna likely needs close to 40 percent of the vote in King County to win statewide.
Both the Inslee and McKenna campaigns signaled they’re ready for a long wait, as the winner of the race may not be known until further vote counts this week.
November 6, 2012 at 4:48 PM
Making some final Seattle campaign stops Tuesday, Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Rob McKenna each sounded confident they’ll win their hard-fought gubernatorial race — even if they are behind in votes tallied tonight.
Inslee appeared at the combined Democratic campaign office on Rainier Avenue South around noon to encourage phone-bank volunteers and place a few get-out-the-vote calls himself.
The office had been burglarized the night before, with someone making off with laptops and other equipment, but Inslee said he wasn’t worried about that.
“It’s the last thing on my mind,” he said, noting no ballots were taken. (His campaign said they have not been collecting ballots and has complained about a GOP program to pick up ballots in vans.)
Inslee said he’s poised to win because voters will prefer the values shown in his jobs plan and support of gay marriage.
“I think a value of our state is we are forward-looking. We want to take the next step of bending the arc of the moral universe forward. We’ve done this on many occasions and we’re going to do it again on equality in marriage,” Inslee said. “But the real thing I think voters are going to be voting on is are we going to build jobs in this state, and I’ve got a plan to do that and I’m excited to get into job number one, and that is the governor’s office.”
A couple of hours later, McKenna toured businesses in the Chinatown International District with Tomio Moriguchi, chairman and former CEO of the Uwajimaya supermarkets.
Despite the Republicans’ record-setting losing streak in gubernatorial campaigns here, McKenna said he thinks he’ll come out on top by the end of the week on the strength of comparatively high turnout in GOP-leaning counties.
“I don’t think we’re going to know with confidence until Friday, but I do believe by Friday I will be able to declare that I’ve won. I think I am going to win this election,” McKenna said.
McKenna said he believes his focus on public education “has brought a lot of Democratic voters over to support me.” And ultimately, he said, voters will “choose the individual with the better qualifications and a better vision.”
November 1, 2012 at 7:44 AM
A new poll for KING 5 finds the governor’s race a dead heat as Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Rob McKenna enter their final days of campaigning.
With just five days to go until votes are counted, the poll found Inslee with 47 percent support and McKenna with 46 percent, with 7 percent undecided. That’s well within the survey’s 4.2 percent margin of error. The poll of 555 likely voters (including some who’d already mailed in ballots) was conducted Oct. 28 through Oct. 31 by SurveyUSA.
The tight gubernatorial race comes despite President Obama’s solid lead in Washington – he’s up 54-40 percent over Mitt Romney in the KING 5 poll.
The poll found support for gay marriage and marijuana legalization measures.
Initiative 502, which would license and regulate marijuana distribution was up 56-37 percent in the poll, with 7 percent undecided.
Referendum 74, which would legalize gay marriage, was up 52-43 percent, with 5 percent undecided.
Read more about the poll at KING5.com.
October 17, 2012 at 11:58 AM
Post updated at 1:20 p.m. with comments from journalism and political experts.
The Seattle Times Co. jumped directly into two of the state’s hottest political contests Wednesday, launching an $80,000 independent-expenditure campaign promoting Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna and announcing a similar effort in support of the referendum to legalize gay marriage.
The company’s move — which drew quick criticism from some journalism and political experts — began with a full-page newspaper ad in support of McKenna’s campaign for governor. The ad, on page B6 of Wednesday’s editions of The Seattle Times, touts McKenna as “an easy way to end the gridlock that threatens to cripple state government,” and promotes the two-term attorney general’s talking points on funding education and creation of private sector jobs.
The decision to run the ad was made by the corporate side of the newspaper and was “completely separate from the journalism functions of the newspaper,” said Alan Fisco, executive vice president, revenue and new products, for The Seattle Times.
The company intends to run a similar campaign in support of Referendum 74, to legalize same-sex marriage, Fisco said in a news release.
Fisco described both efforts as a Seattle Times pilot project to show the power of newspaper political advertising and to attract new revenue for the newspaper. “We decided to try to tap into this important source of advertising revenue by demonstrating how effective advertising with The Times can be,” he said.
Fisco added that the company will analyze the effectiveness of the ad campaigns and present the results to political consultants and campaigns to convince them to advertise more in the newspaper.
“The News Department was not part of the discussion or the decision to do this,” Seattle Times Executive Editor David Boardman said in an email.
But the ad campaign was criticized by some journalism and political experts who said it threatened to damage the credibility of the newspaper’s reporting.
“It’s not the newspaper’s problem, it’s not the publisher’s problem, it’s not even the readers’ problem, it’s the problem of the reporters who are covering these issues and these candidates,” said Roy Peter Clark, vice-president and senior scholar with the Poynter Institute, a journalism think tank in Florida. “Their credibility is at stake.”
“Regular people have trouble believing there is a wall between the editorial side of news, and the reporting side. This would seem to make that even more difficult. However the Times rationalizes this, they are using the resources of the paper to promote a candidate and cause preferred by the editorial side (and, it would seem, ownership). Fair or not to you folks on the reporting side, my sense is the public perception of the Times’ credibility and objectivity takes a big hit here,” said Todd Donovan, political science professor at Western Washington University.
Donovan said The Times characterizing the campaigns as a business decision “strains credibility… It’s a big money contribution by the Times to a candidate, and a big money (in kind) contribution to a ballot measure campaign,” he said in an email.
The Seattle Times editorial board has endorsed both McKenna and R-74, but the ad campaign takes that support to another level.
The contributions in support of the campaigns will amount to between $75,000 and $80,000 each and will be reported to the state, said Jill Mackie, a Times spokeswoman.
The McKenna ad costs will have to be reported as an independent expenditure within 24 hours to the Public Disclosure Commission, said Lori Anderson, a commission spokeswoman. The pro-gay-marriage ads will be reported later as an in-kind contribution to the Washington United for Marriage campaign.
This isn’t the first time the Seattle Times Co. has become directly involved in political campaigns. For example, during the 1990s, the company opposed Initiative 200, which ended affirmative action programs in the state. But it may be the first time, at least in recent memory, that the company has sponsored ads in support of a candidate in a statewide partisan political race.
Seattle Times Olympia reporter Andrew Garber contributed to this report.
October 16, 2012 at 12:38 PM
UPDATED: Includes comment from Washington State Democrats
Judging by a new mailer hitting Washington households, the Washington State Democratic Party has developed quite a disdain for those Olympia politicians.
The mailer attacking Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna refers pejoratively to “Olympia” or “Olympia politician” seven times. It hits McKenna, the two-term Attorney General, for increasing his office budget, backing a personal pay increase and endorsing a complex tax swap to aid state funding of schools, among other alleged sins. “Rob McKenna, NOT a new direction. Just another Olympia politician,” the mailer says.
The mailer never mentions McKenna is a Republican. Or that Democrats have dominated Olympia for decades, holding the governor’s office since 1985 and legislative majorities more often than not during that period. (The party currently holds a 56-42 edge in the state House and a 27-22 margin in the Senate.)
The attack is part of the Democrats’ strategy to weaken McKenna’s argument that he’s the change agent in the governor’s race, and to position Democrat Jay Inslee, the former eight-term Congressman, as the fresh-faced outsider.
With polls showing voters not so happy about the direction of Olympia, the effort makes narrow political sense, even if the top Olympia politicians – Gov. Chris Gregoire, House Speaker Frank Chopp, and Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown – are Democrats. What does the Democratic mailer say about how they’ve run the show in the Capitol?
Washington State Democratic Party spokesman Benton Strong said: “Rob McKenna is the candidate that has been in Olympia for the last seven years. He asked for six increases in his office budget, lobbied to increase his own salary, and it’s Rob McKenna who has proposed what amounts to a paper shift instead of a real plan to increase education funding.”
October 12, 2012 at 5:16 PM
And just for fun, here are two visual representations – word clouds – of what each candidate said. The bigger the word, the more often it was said. (Click on the images a couple times to see larger versions.)
October 12, 2012 at 12:16 PM
One of the most newsworthy moments of Thursday night’s gubernatorial debate came after the debate was over.
In a post-debate news conference, Democrat Jay Inslee was pressed on whether he’d veto any tax increases sent to him by the Legislature. It was a logical follow-up for Inslee, who has repeatedly said he does not favor tax increases, but has been challenged on that by Republican Rob McKenna, who predicts Inslee would sign tax increases passed by his Democratic allies in Olympia.
But at the news conference, after dancing around the question for a while, Inslee made a pretty clear promise to veto tax increases.
“I would veto anything that heads the wrong direction and the wrong direction is new taxes in the state of Washington,” Inslee said.
Inslee could be putting himself in a box with that statement, as some top Democrats and education groups have insisted that new taxes are the only realistic way to raise enough money to adequately fund public schools and universities. And Republicans will no doubt remind voters that Democratic candidates for governor have a history of opposing tax increases during their campaigns, only to have a change of heart once in office. (Of course, the last governor to raise the state’s biggest tax source, the sales tax, was a Republican, John Spellman, in the 1980s.)
It’s also worth remembering that Inslee has said he’s against the voter-approved requirement that two-thirds of the Legislature approve any tax increases (that’s up for a vote again this year in Initiative 1185.) He favors a simple majority requirement for taxes.
But after last night, Inslee is solidly on the record. If elected, he’ll have to keep his tax-veto promise or take the heat if he busts it.
October 2, 2012 at 10:56 AM
A new poll shows Democrat Jay Inslee with a lead over Republican Rob McKenna in the gubernatorial race as the two prepare for a televised debate Tuesday night in Yakima.
The KING 5 poll, conducted by Survey USA, found 48 percent of those surveyed support Inslee, compared with 42 percent for McKenna. The statewide poll of 540 likely voters has a margin of error of 4.3 percent.
Inslee and McKenna will face off tonight at the Yakima Convention Center at 7 p.m. in a debate sponsored by the Yakima Herald-Republic, the Association of Washington State Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, KCTS 9 and KYVE.
The debate will be shown live on KCTS9 and streamed on KCTS9.org.
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