November 08, 2008
Post-Election Mulling

They're still crystallizing, but here's my starting point. Up and down the ballot the results largely matched my expectations (encapsulated here, in part): a local Obama blowout, large win for McKenna, tight races for Lands Commissioner & OPSPI, a modest yet comfortable Reichert win, and generally a good read on assorted legislative races.

The glaring exception: Governor...though I wasn't exactly alone, on both sides of the aisle, in expecting something different.

I have some ideas on what happened, but am still fleshing them out. Meanwhile, your thoughts?

Posted by Eric Earling at November 08, 2008 12:36 PM | Email This
1. Obama coat tails along with a lot of LIVs (low information voters). How else could such a mediocre performance be rewarded with four more years?

Posted by: ROCKETMAN on November 8, 2008 12:48 PM
2. rocketman - how do you explain Granholm winning easy reelection in MI despite a totally tanking economy in 2006 other then LIVs?

Posted by: Crusader on November 8, 2008 01:03 PM
3. I think it goes back to females and NO ad addressing this group in positive way...Dave Reichert had the right ad at the end and I think he won because of it.
Reichert Add: "Denise"

I'm not sure what the Rossi ad would have looked like, but Rossi's side need one to close the deal with Women. Maybe an ad with a former female judge saying that the fake lawsuits from Dem Party just don't cut it and how they are tying up the court system...

Hind sight 20/20...

Posted by: Glenno on November 8, 2008 02:10 PM
4. I think the fake purely partisan-hack lawsuit and resultant deposition had something at least in part to do with it. May Judge Kallas be in her last term for allowing her courtroom to be used to abuse a citizen.

Posted by: Michele on November 8, 2008 02:34 PM
5. 1) She very astutely endorsed Obama in February. At the time, Obama greatly out polled Clinton in our state and she knew that if he won, she would be in a position to lock herself onto him and ride his coattails.

2) An effective job of portraying Rossi in lock step with Bush, especially on economic policy.

3) Her negative ads were much more effective and Rossi, unwittingly, tried to answer all the negative ads which threw him off message. The RGA ads were not effective, whoever did the baby ad at the end of the campaign will hopefully never be in that position again.

4) The minimum wage fiasco. Rossi did not come out and explain what he meant, Gregoire ran all over him and this issue reinforced the George Bush image in working class voters mind. This was a devastating blow.

Posted by: jk on November 8, 2008 02:58 PM
6. For everyone on the left who wants us to think this is NOT about Obama voters, tell me why the big discrepancy from the primary ... which Obama was not in?

It is, of course, all about Obama. No one bought into her lies about the minimum wage. No one bought the crap about Dino == Bush. As Eric noted before, Dino kept most of his 2004 voters and Gregoire kept most of hers. It was all about coattails.

Posted by: pudge on November 8, 2008 04:04 PM
7. WRT outcome of the race 4 Gov:
While a number of points raised in the above comments are probably more-or-less correct:
I join Eric and others in being more than a little surprised at the margin between Rossi and Gregoire:

While as of 15:30 today about 15 percent of the ballots remain 2 b counted, about one-third of said outstanding ballots are from King County; roughly same proportion of King County versus the rest of the state overall; i.e.: Current spread of just under 7 percent in favor of Gregoire is not likely to change much.

Be that as it may, a few SIDEBARS on ''by county'' results; even though final result is not in doubt anymore:

1.. Dino finally pulled ahead in Mason County, and with only 37 votes to count there he will hold on to his margin in Mason.

2.. Dino still has a shot at winning Clallam County, since 4200 ballots left 2 count there.

3.. Margin in favor of Gregoire in Skagit and Island Counties was only about one percent.

4.. Gregoire got over 55 percent in only FOUR counties: San Juan (68 %), Jefferson (64 %), Thurston (58 %), and (of course) King (65 %). San Juan and Jefferson are small; together only about 30K votes total. So it comes down to Thurston (state employees) and King County (again).

5.. If Dino finally pulls aghead in Clallam, that would leave Gregoire winning 12 counties versus 8 in 2004, again all on the west side. Just like in 2004, Dino won every county east of the Cascade Crest; a couple by not a lot, but most by comfortable to run-away margins.

SUMMARY: I want a political divorce from King and Thurston Counties. If only eastern WA could break free of the clutches of ''Greater Seattle'' and join Idaho (if they would have us).

I know, I know:
Even though it is technically Constitutional if both states and the US Congress were to agree, odds against it ever happening are long to say the least..... But still: I feel a strong urge to start a 2009 initiative to the people; to let the citizens of every county vote on whether or not they would like to continue to be stuck in a state with King and Thurston Counties; or would rather be part of the great State of Idaho. I'm willing to bet that such an initiative if properly presented and worded would be VERY popular in much if not most of Eastern WA. And if you look again at the SOS ''by county'' map for Gregoire and Rossi wins, it would make for a pretty clean ''break'' for those who might want a political divorce from Greater Seattle (note that west-side Lewis County went for Dino by just over 64 %; a bigger margin than many counties on the east side).

Posted by: Methow Ken on November 8, 2008 04:17 PM
8. I stipulate Pudge is correct @ #6 above:
It was all Obama coattails.

Posted by: Methow Ken on November 8, 2008 04:22 PM
9. @7 - Cool. But this King County taxpayer has no intention of paying child support after that divorce.

Tired, tired, tired of red-state welfare queens. Blue counties and blue states pay for your roads and infrastructure. You say you don't want them, fine with me.

Posted by: sob story on November 8, 2008 04:49 PM
10. 1. I think Greg Nickels pushed Gregoire to endorse Obama and get the big visisbility at the
Seattle rally - it was a surprise to this Chris fan.... excellent move.

2. There was a fever like effort to back Gregoire in King County - have never seen any thing equal. Labor, greens, queers, Obama folks -all- went to the wall to back her. She worker her base much better than the previous campaign, very simply put. Much smarter than spending too much time with a few farmers in the east.

3. Rossi ads went way beyond the pale. They backfired as they became a parody of the attack ad. What a waste of millions of dollars. The diaper full of crap ad WAS child abuse, no message to voters at all. Too weird to even contemplate, real shit in an ad should be horse or cow - ask a farmer.

4. FOR SURE Obama link - many signs in Seattle were Obama/Gregoire...

5. Status quo kicked in with the looming fiscal mess - proven horse vs. change. Rossi botched it badly.

6. All that tainted cash pouring in looked like buying an election, and, yes the court case helped confirm that.

Now we need to unite to face the coming depression - hunger and all the ills of no work will haunt our rural and small cities. Bankruptcy will haunt some counties.

Everyone needs to get ready.

Posted by: Rudy on November 8, 2008 05:31 PM
11. Rossi's ads just made people sick. Even the average Joe's figured out they were paid for by the millions the BIAW poured into the race. Gregoire is a poor campaigner, but a good governor. Anyone that thinks our state would be better off with Republicon leadership, after where they have taken our country lately belongs is a straight jacket. As far as I am concerned the whole party should be locked up. They are shakin' in their shoes cuz they know the new Justice Department will be all over their corrupt asses.

Posted by: All Facts Support My Positions on November 8, 2008 06:43 PM
12. If who paid for the ads actually made any difference, Queen Chrissy the Tribal Ho wouldn't have got vote one... much like that racist, empty-suited, anti-American bigot you clowns supported for president.

See, factless, your rank hypocrisy of, once again, letting your side off the same hook you put R's on is showing. And again, if you really are concerned about "corruption," you can start with the nearest mirror, and then move to that sellout bitch you were supporting for governor.

Posted by: Hinton on November 8, 2008 07:19 PM
13. I loved how Christine Gregoire, in allowing more tribal gambling plus telling them "oh, never mind" about giving $140 million to the state only to receive several hundred thousand dollars in campaign cash from them, said to the voters: "You didn't see me do what I just did!"

And with a straight face, too.

Posted by: Michele on November 8, 2008 07:31 PM
14. Methow Ken @ #5 -- Instead of joining w. Idaho, how about Oregon's Eastern section (Cascade crest and East) join w. Washington's while the West siders join together as well. That would turn 4 D Senators into 2 and create 2 new Rs. Just one reason of many that it would never be allowed to happen -- but nice to think about...

On Dino. It is pretty sad. The State really did (does) need a change. Looks to have been the Obamawave. Gregoire had little to do w. her own victory, could've been any generic D to have won this year -- even w. the pretty ugly record that Gregoire had she cruised in the end.

Posted by: Tonda on November 8, 2008 08:07 PM
15. It's time for the schools to re-educate the students on what responsibilities they have as voters. They should be taught that if they don't understand an issue or a candidate then they have the responsibility to NOT vote that particular office.

I imagine, that once again, it was the uninformed voter who beat Rossi. Probably half of the votes in the Gov. race should have been people who only voted for the Presidential race, weren't paying attention to anything else.

Posted by: Doug on November 8, 2008 08:09 PM
16. First in reply 2 Tonda @ #14:

You're right: Joining eastern WA + eastern OR together with merging western WA and western OR would be another good outcome in many respects; and just fine AFAIC. Doing that has been talked about casually for years. But for at least a couple reasons doing so would I expect be even considerably more difficult than splitting off and joining eastern WA 2 ID (as per my above, while technically possible and permissable under the Constitution even that is clearly a long shot); even if you could get the people in both parts of BOTH WA and OR 2 agree:

1.. From the point of view of the people who will control the political machinery in WA, OR, and DC for at least the next couple years, doing anything that would likely result in +2 (R)s in the US Senate will not be well received. OTOH, at a state-wide level ID has been and still is pretty reliably (R) anyway; even though 1 of 2 ID US House seats is currently (D). So joining eastern WA to ID should I would think generally be seen as a wash politically by both parties.

2.. A joined eastern WA / eastern OR would have no state capitol or government infrastructure and civil service personnel in place. The cost and complexity of constructing and staffing even a minimalist but fully functioning state government from scratch in the modern era would be HUGE (sorry, there has 2 be one); probably billions; to the point where it's probably not viable. Alaska looked into the cost of just MOVING the state capitol from isolated Juneau to the Anchorage area some years ago, and even just MOVING was going to be a massively expensive.

Be all of the above and other considerations as they may, it would be REAL interesting to see what the vote would be in each county, on asking ID to take in escaping WA counties as political refugees.

NOW: A quick response to ''sob story'' @ #9:

''Blue counties and blue states pay for your roads and infrastructure. You say you don't want them, fine with me.''

More than fine by me too: I don't want and don't need to get into who pays what percentage for infrastructure all over WA: I'll just say that my property rights and other freedoms that we are supposed to have cannot be bought for a few or even a bunch of left-wing dollars. Set us free, and keep whatever money comes over here from Olympia. I've driven on a lot of Idaho roads, all the way from Interstates to country gravel roads; and I'm happy to drive on roads built to ID standards.

Posted by: Methow Ken on November 8, 2008 10:26 PM
17. So Hinton. Does calling Governor Gregoire names make you feel like a man? It seems a lot of Republicons agreed with her decision with regard to the tribes. As far as what they do with their cash, could you imagine anyone with a brain that is not a multi millionaire giving money to ANY Republicon? The tribes were doing the right thing, and they know it. No quid pro quo whatsoever. If you have some information, I am sure the Republicon Attorney General would love to hear about it.

You call Obama Anti-American, while his opponent had 150 of Washington's top lobbyists running his campaign. I guess letting the lobbyists stay in control is Pro-American right?

And Michele. You are one sick puppy. You hate "liberals" because Rush, Sean, BillO and Michael told you to. I hate Republicons because of how much damage they have done to my country. Big difference.

You clowns keep on pushing trickle up, and "my" party will keep winning elections. Your party's lies do not appear to be working like they used to. Period.

Posted by: All Facts Support My Positions on November 8, 2008 10:50 PM
18. I don't "hate liberals." I hate much of their ideology and their actions. Big difference. Hope you can comprehend that. And I hate what Gregoire did with the tribes and then cashed in on it, while saying she did nothing wrong. I had my opinions long before I ever heard of Rush, Sean and Michael. I don't really watch BillO except what makes a stir on youtube once in a great while. You assume that everyone else thinks something only because they were told to. Is that because that's how you operate? I can only guess. Rush always says he doesn't tell people what to think because he knows they were thinking it long before he ever said it. He's absolutely right. That's why he's been successful.You hate republican's actions AND republicans themselves. Big difference. Because if I met you on the street I'd be civil to you. You, based on what you just said, apparently wouldn't be. Too bad.
I'm still in awe that you supported a guy who went to a church that if any other non-D candidate supported that kind of hate and vitriol you'd be hooting up a storm. It's amazing how you swept the worst kind of hatred under the carpet to support Obama.
Btw, you brought up calling Gregoire names. I don't call her names. I talk about what she did/does. What I and millions of others noticed for the last eight years that countless liberals called President Bush every kind of foul, obscene, positively HATE-dripping name you can possibly think of. Names I will never use to describe Obama no matter how awful he governs. Are you upset about all that foul liberal name-calling of Bush, too?

Posted by: Michele on November 9, 2008 12:29 AM
19. Michele I really want to know what part of "liberal ideology" you hate. Please spell it out. I am truly interested. Start with corporate welfare pleeeeeeze.

As far as defending Rush, he even admitted he carried water (lied) for the Republicons. And you are right. I am not always civil when I meet a Republicon on the street. They don't deserve civility, they deserve prison. I may tell them that.

As far as Reverend Wright, I can admit America has her faults, and can talk about them. Can you? What did Wright say that was not correct? You obviously did not descend from slaves. Your parents probably not denied credit because of their color. Did you ever have to use the "colored" bathroom, or sit in the back of a bus?

He can't call bull when we invade countries for profit, or political reasons? To point out America's flaws, and mistakes makes us Anti-American? I think not pointing them out, and suffering from group think is Un-American.

The Ann Coulter types want to attack me because I want what is best for "all" Americans, not just for the super rich, and large corporations. You know where they can stick it.

I put you in the Ann Coulter camp, not the Nancy Reagan camp. Do you understand the difference?

Now once again. What part of the liberal ideology do you "hate" Michele.

This should be good......

Posted by: All Facts Support My Positions on November 9, 2008 08:28 AM
20. What part of the liberal ideology do you "hate"

The part that perpetuate abdicating personal responsibility: abortion, welfare, houses for drunks...

The part that place more importance on things rather than people: environmental wackos, PETA...

The part that abdicates common sense: public art rather than basic infrastructure.

The part that honor destruction of the GOOD and moral for evil: insisting God be out of the public spector, stealing parental authority, celebrating crass behaviour, lying to push an agenda (the "news" about homosexual kid killed vs that reported on the kid killed by homosexuals).

The part that champions solving a problem (AIDS, teen pregnancy) but refuses to acknowledge the concrete ways to prevent them.

The part that has sunk every ideal this country was founded upon to the least common denominator; the part that values color over integrity, the part that values style over substance, the ones that make excuses; the part that is keeping our children ignorant while protecting the people doing so.

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on November 9, 2008 11:37 AM
21. Just got back. Ragnar covered most of it. I'll minorly state I hate Obama's marxism. Marxism never made any country great. Quite the opposite. It killed more people last century than even Hitler's "National Socialists." also, the emphasis on overtly trying to kill the innocent, the sick (think I-1000, which says doctors can kill their patients who have even six months, not six days, to live). Also the demonizing and punishment of achievement. The fantasy that having health insurance AND waiting eight months to get a procedure that the same insured person here can get in a week is somehow better. Sorry, too many WITH their govt. insurance in places like Canada have died waiting. I was shocked to read last year that a canadian woman about to give birth to quadruplets was refused a bed in Calgary because they just couldn't accommodate her. Instead she had to go down to po-dunk Great Falls MT where they helped her just fine. THIS is a good thing? I don't even like to think what Canadians would do without America being their safety valve. Pathetic. I've never heard of a pregnant woman with insurance here being sent to Canada. Ever.
Emphasis on mediocrity instead of excellence. Good is bad; bad is good. Babies must die on a shelf in a dirty utility room or be birthed but then stabbed before the head comes out (which was intentionally turned for a breach birth, which makes it even more phoney of a procedure but I guess they couldn't stand to hear the screams otherwise of the poor little boy or girl), but heinous murderers must live. Things and animals being more important than people. Punishing & demonizing employers while claiming they are 'for jobs'. The virulent anti-religion bigotedness. The looking-down on small town people like Horsey and Obama and his S.F. friends do. that's more than enough. But I'll still be polite to you on the street, All Facts, should we ever meet. Because I don't hate YOU. I'd hate to be your employer, because from the way you describe your attitude toward others who don't agree with you it sounds like you don't get along with a lot of your co-workers. Me, I have democrat friends who I like very much. I don't hate them. Most of them are not as radical as Obama, btw. You should try to get to know others who don't agree with you, Facts. You might like it.

Posted by: Michele on November 9, 2008 04:21 PM
22. @16:

Idaho received $1.21 from the federal government for every $1 it sent in taxes as of FY2005 (the most recent year for which such data are available.)

Washington received 88 cents for every $1 it sent in taxes.


Those 'Idaho standard' roads are still subsidized.

Red states are welfare queens. Blue states pay the bills. The same breakdown is mirrored within states.

The record of fake "fiscal conservatives" of the alleged party of individual responsibility is revealed by hard numbers: Republicans are the party of redistribution, looting the tax base of the blue cities and states for the red. Any rhetoric about smaller government and self-reliance is false, false, false.

Posted by: sob story on November 9, 2008 04:41 PM
23. I'd also like to mention that James Cone, Jeremiah Wright's black liberation theology hero said this: "If God is not for us and against white people, then we had better kill him. Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy."
Wow. THIS is what inspired Obama's pastor. That right there utterly disqualifies Obama from the presidency. Outright racial hatred and true religious insanity. cone says his theology is institutionally embodied at Trinity United---Obama's church of TWO decades. Obama belongs nowhere NEAR the Whitehouse. A republican candidate who came from a church like that wouldn't even get past the primary. None of us would vote for him. But somehow dems thought it was just ducky. Houston, we have a problem.

Posted by: Michele on November 9, 2008 04:49 PM
24. I was totally wrong about a bunch of things:

I thought Rossi would be closer to Gregoire.
I thought the Eyeman initiative would pass.
I thought the health care worker licensure initiative would fail.
I thought Bob Barr would beat 1% of the vote, and beat Nader as well.

I was right about Obama, but this was not hard for most people to foresee.

I know a few small and big "l" libertarians who voted for Obama. I'm sure almost all the gay and lesbian Libertarians did. I think that a huge chunk of the independent vote could be described as socially liberal, fiscally conservative, and tired of the Iraq war. In other words, a lot of the independent voters were small "l" libertarian in general outlook.

So the GOP would do well to figure out how to attract this group in 2012.

But the other problem the GOP had was it did not unify it's base, and it failed to inspire them to come out of the woodwork and vote. McCain was the darling of only 1/3 of the GOP base; the foreign policy interventionists. He never really inspired the social conservatives, and he wasn't ever perceived as a small-government fiscal conservative, though I'm sure he was the lesser of two evils for both of these groups. You usually need something more positive and inspiring than "lesser of two evils" kinds of motivations in order to win.

I hear that the far left, for which the D's have always been too corrupt and not far left enough, think that the D's purposefully continued to vote to fund the Iraq war because they wanted to run against that issue in 2008. This is, of course, viewed by the anti-war left as a cynical ploy that killed US troops and Iraqis needlessly in order to gain power for Democratic politicians.

I'm not so sure about this, but it could be true.

I'm pretty happy about my vote for Barr. Obama was going to win all of the electoral votes for WA no matter what I did, and my vote sends a message that I want no bailouts, no policing of the world at US taxpayer expense, no socialized medicine, no drug war, etc...

And Barr did the fourth best of any Libertarian Presidential candidate in history on a vote percentage basis. It was second only to Ed Clark in 1980 in terms of the numbers of people who voted Libertarian. This is surprising given how many Libertarians openly said they could not support Barr. I think it means that the Libertarian Party continues to grow. I think it could be a real factor in 20 years, and I am glad I am one of those who is taking the long view in order to make that happen.

But if the GOP runs someone like Goldwater, Reagan, Ron Paul or Toby Nixon, I could just be tempted to vote GOP.

But I expect more people like Palin and Huckabee. So I expect the years to come to bring higher tax rates, more welfare dependency, gradually socialized medicine and increasing government meddling in our personal lives.

Until the GOP can find a way to tame the evangelicals and the foreign policy interventionists, but still get them to support the candidate as Reagan did, expect many years of Democratic domination of Congress. I do not relish the thought.

I think that this is exactly what Obama did. His followers THINK he is going to do a lot of things he has no intention of doing. He made them think these things, without actually lying to them most of the time. They think he will bring the troops home from Iraq, but the 16 month time horizon being negotiated with the Iraqi government was going to happen no matter who was President. Both McCain and Obama wanted to bring 2 or 3 more divisions in to Afghanistan. Obama's health care plans are not as socialistic as Hillary's.

A lot of his supporters are going to be really disappointed, as would the McCain supporters have been had he been elected.

In his acceptance speech he said two things that warmed this individualistic heart:

1) Among the four ideas that underlay the American core values are Liberty and opportunity. Notice he did not say Government control and entitlement!

2) He reminded his followers that "government can not solve every problem." I tend to think that there is only a very narrow range of problems that government can solve...

The real fear is that undivided government will send a lot of really far-left bills to the President to sign, and that Obama will go ahead a sign them. I guess this may lead to a Republican resurgence in 2012, but that may bring us as many bad things as the D's do...

Posted by: Bruce Guthrie on November 9, 2008 07:58 PM
25. Why do you libs use the word "hate" so generically. Anytime someone criticizes a liberal principlbe they are accused of hate. And heaven forbid they dare criticize the Great and Powerful O. Then the branded as being hating, and being a racist. I'm beginning to wonder if you all know what those words actually mean.

Listen, Hitler was a racist and hated the Jews. That is your best operational definition. I submit tht even the most off he hinge right winger (I don't include the Aryan nation in that) does not have his feelings and emotions rise to tha lever. So, can we tone down the accusatory language and use terms that are more accurate. In he spirit of holding, working together and singing Kum-By-Ya.

Posted by: Dave on November 9, 2008 08:58 PM
26. You ever hear of a liberal racists?..or a liberal gun-nut?..or a liberal that wants to blend church and state? I think you need to look at why these types flock to the party, and why they are welcomed with open arms. THEN maybe people wouldn't begin to believe your ALL like that.

..just saying, mainstream isn't too one way other or an other. I guess I could just say, keep doing what your doing and not worry about it, but I think there needs to be a little of both, but not too much of anything.

Posted by: clarlynn on November 9, 2008 10:13 PM
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