Topic: governor’s race
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November 21, 2012 at 6:00 AM
Wednesday politics: counties with highest voter turnout, Pierce Co. voting, Nate Silver in Doonesbury
Happy Day Before Turkey Day.
One for the number nerds: Amid all the pre-election surmising about which Washington counties might have the highest — highest! — turnout, one expert in the Secretary of State’s office quipped that with marijuana legalization on the ballot, a good bet is that voters in Jefferson and San Juan counties’ woulds turn out in big numbers. No such wager occurred. But spokesman David Ammons had it right. Now that much of the ballot counting is over — OK, we take forever — the two counties with the biggest turnout percentage were, drum roll, San Juan County, with 88.53 percent, and Jefferson County, with 88.09 percent. The much-vaunted King County turnout, so far anyway, is less than anticipated, 81.95 percent.
Pierce County voting habits: Political observers in recent years have been noticing that Pierce County voting has been trending a bit more conservative. The county was once bluer, as in, more Democratic, and more dominated by voters living in Tacoma. But the county is changing and growing. The News Tribune of Tacoma posted a cool graphic showing the voting in the 2012 governor’s race and allowed us to post it in the blog.
Nate Silver makes Doonesbury comic status: New York Times numbers whiz Nate Silver, who predicted the 2012 election with amazing accuracy, has achieved a milestone. He was mentioned in a Doonesbury comic. He’s a young man but it’s one of those things you hope to do before you check out, or so Silver tweeted this week.
Republican misgivings: In the weeks leading up to the election, former Washington State Republican Party Chairman Chris Vance was convinced Republicans were going to do better in Washington state in the 2012 election. Then they didn’t. Here is his post-election analysis for Crosscut.com, in which he says Democrats voted and a lot of Republicans stayed home.
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November 9, 2012 at 6:26 PM
Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna called his Democratic opponent, Jay Inslee, Friday evening to concede the hard-fought 2012 governor’s race. It was a long, slow week of ballot counting, but in the end, McKenna simply could not catch Inslee who led by a couple percentage points since Tuesday night.
Randy Pepple, McKenna’s campaign manager, spoke to reporters in a conference call at about about 6 p.m. He said Attorney General McKenna called to congratulate Congressman Inslee about 15 minutes earlier. McKenna did so after talking to his staff and reporters.
Notes from the telephone press conference:
Jim Brunner of The Seattle Times asked the first question: What was it that made the difference for Rob to change his mind?
Pepple: All along, we were watching the data points. We were seeing the improvement that had been indicated in our tracking survey. We wanted to see if that would be duplicated in some of the smaller counties. Once those counties (results) started coming in the late morning and early afternoon, it just became clear there wasn’t enough of a buildup, even though he was cutting into the lead, at 5 p.m., he was under 42,000 (votes separating the two candidates). There was not any way to overcome the disparity.
Joel Connelly, seattlepi.com: As you have gone through this the last few days, have you talked at all about what Rob will do next, will he be in public service?
Pepple: You will continue to see him involved in things he is passionate about, Boy Scouts, human trafficking, another public office, no, that is not in the cards right now.
Olympian: When is Rob going to talk to us?
Pepple: No plan right now for that.
Allen Schauffler of KING TV: If you can’t win a race like this with a candidate like this, is that a sign that this political party is dead in the water?
Pepple: There is strength in the party in other areas…. Pepple said there were no federal resources being spent that are often so helpful with turnout. There wasn’t any of that going on here. That’s not an indictment on the party per se.
Associated Press: How things are feeling in the office today, the sentiment, the feelings?
Pepple: Obviously, there was great sadness when Rob informed the staff that it wasn’t going to turn out the way we all wanted. He quoted his father: “Hard work is never wasted.” There was a lot of sadness there, but they will remember the opportunity they had on an historic campaign. They got to work with great colleagues. Rob reminded them of that as well. Rob takes the long view. It’s awfully hard particularly for younger staff to get beyond the finality of a day like this.”
Brian Rosenthal, The Seattle Times: Now that the campaign is over, and you can reflect on it, what do you think of the campaign?
Pepple: I had the best candidate in Rob McKenna and the best campaign staff. I really appreciate the coordination and cooperation from the party. That does not always exist. There can be jealousies, people getting their noses out of joint. We really didn’t have it this year. I am sure I will look back, after crunching the numbers, I will wonder if there was something else I could do.
Pepple went on to say that it was a tough race with a presidential candidate who was very popular in Washington state, President Obama, who won here by almost 13 percentage points. It was difficult, Pepple said, “swimming against that tide.”
November 6, 2012 at 9:26 PM
Democrats at an Election Night party at The Westin Seattle expressed confidence late tonight that former Congressman Jay Inslee will be elected governor.
In his speech after the networks called the presidential race for Barack Obama, state party chairman Dwight Pelz quickly turned the focus to Inslee.
“We’ve got a very important race here in Washington state,” said Pelz, before repeating a line that would get repeated many times over the next hour: “Rob McKenna has 36 percent here in King County. That’s not a good result for him.”
King County Executive Dow Constantine also cited the “hundreds of thousands” of King County ballots still to come as an indication Inslee will win.
“I frankly think that Jay’s lead is going to hold and he will be our next governor,” said Constantine, predicting that a recount won’t be necessary.
After the networks called the race for Obama, the large screen televisions in the Westin’s grand ballroom were tuned to the Washington Secretary of State’s website, which displayed results from the governor’s race. Loud cheers went up every time the results were updated.
“We’re feeling very confident,” said U.S. Rep. Adam Smith. “Jay Inslee is going to be our next governor.”
Inslee is scheduled to speak at The Westin at 10:30 p.m.
September 14, 2012 at 6:00 AM
Gubernatorial gender gap? A spokesman for Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna, Randy Pepple, has said a few times that McKenna does not face a gender gap. The gender gap, as you may gather, is the difference between the percentage of women and the percentage of men voting for a given candidate. Often, especially in presidential elections, male voters favor Republican candidates, and women lean toward Democratic candidates.
But this new ad, ahem, makes you wonder.
Thursday, Pepple explained the ad like this:
“This ad points to Rob’s record of achievement, something which Congressman Inslee is lacking. Additionally, it highlights issues which are important to an important swing audience – suburban women voters.
The campaign’s focus is on putting Rob over 50%, and the majority of the undecided are women voters – only makes sense to make sure you are talking about issues they care about.”
A KING-TV SurveyUSA poll, by the by, shows a gender gap in what has been called one of the hottest governor’s race in the country. Here’s is how KING-TV’s Robert Mak described it:
“Women favor Inslee over McKenna by a big margin (53 percent to 39 percent), while men narrowly favor McKenna (48 percent to 45 percent),” wrote Mak.
Still staring at primary election results:
This map showing votes from the Aug. 7 primary prompts a few questions. I understand Democrat Bob Ferguson, candidate for attorney general, beating his Republican rival in counties shown in blue — but not the three in eastern Washington. Those counties, more often than not, vote Republican, with the occasional exception of Spokane or Whitman counties, the latter being the home of Washington State University. But in this case, all three counties voting for the Democrat for a law-and-order type of position seemed unusual. Conservative Republican Steve Pidgeon was in the race during the primary and was a factor. But one wonders if there is some sort of name familiarity thing working in Ferguson’s favor there. You know, a politician or other famous person named Ferguson on the east side? What gives?
Valerie Rongey, vice chair of the Washington State Democratic Party, lives in Spokane. She noted that Sen. Maria Cantwell, a Democrat, also sort of surprisingly, won both Spokane and Asotin counties in her race against state Sen. Mike Baumgartner. It’s highly unusual for a Democrat like Cantwell to take Asotin County. Rongey then looked up the name Bob Ferguson and found a martial arts instructor with that name in Pullman, a Washington State University professor and a musician-turned-country record producer who graduated from WSU many years ago. Keep an eye on the general election totals in those same counties.
Endorsements: There are a ba-jillion endorsements of various candidates and statewide initiatives at this point in the election cycle — sometimes too many to keep track of. But one un-endorsement stands out, the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce’s decision to oppose the tax threshold required by Initiative 1185. If the measure passes, it would continue the requirement that state lawmakers vote by a two-thirds majority to approve a tax increase. To be clear, the chamber endorsed the son of I-1185, Initiative 1053, but opposes the idea this time around. Read for yourself, but the gist of it is that the chamber now believes the measure would make it difficult to pay for investments in transportation and education.
Brits and Portlanders: Portland, one of the hippest cities in the U.S., is coming around to fluoridation ever so slowly. But finally the city is prepared to boost the public bite.
July 19, 2012 at 10:36 AM
KING5′s latest SurveyUSA poll shows the Washington gubernatorial race is effectively tied.
The poll released Thursday morning shows that if the election were held now, Republican Rob McKenna would get roughly 42 percent of the vote, compared to 41 percent for Democrat Jay Inslee. Sixteen percent of those polled were undecided.
No wonder Politico and others call this the hottest governor’s race in the country.
SurveyUSA contacted 630 registered voters statewide. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points and was conducted Monday to Wednesday this week.
July 16, 2012 at 4:44 PM
Gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna said Monday afternoon that a pair of months-old tweets sent by one of his staffers, appearing to mock Asians and the elderly, were “insensitive and wrong.”
The tweets, sent by Kathlyn Ehl before she joined the McKenna campaign in April, gained attention earlier Monday after The Stranger published them. They were quickly deleted, but remained accessible as archived website copies.
One tweet, sent in January, said “shut up and speak english #asians.” The other, from November, read, “If it takes you an entire green light to walk in front of my car GET A WHEELCHAIR #toooldtowalk.”
“The tweets sent by a member of my campaign staff, Kathlyn Ehl, were offensive and inappropriate,” McKenna, the state’s attorney general, said in a statement that was set to be released to the media Monday evening. ” They were insensitive and wrong regardless of the context.”
Ehl, a policy assistant for McKenna, will remain a part of the campaign, said campaign manager Randy Pepple.
In an email message to The Seattle Times, Ehl also apologized.
“These insensitive comments were harmful not just to those groups which I mentioned in the tweets, but also to my family, friends and my co-workers,” she wrote. “For causing that pain, I am sorry.”
Ehl, who graduated from the University of Washington last month, started volunteering for the campaign in April before becoming a paid staffer last month.
She frequently tweets about the McKenna campaign and other political issues.
“My actions were not just unfortunate, they were offensive,” she wrote in the email. “It is a lesson to others that social media comments made in frustration not only can hurt others, but they exist long after the moment has passed.”
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