Indications of this have been coming for a while, but it seems time now, with three consecutive polls showing the candidates within a couple of percentage points of each other, to call the Washington House District 8 contest a clear tossup. Among major office contests in the Northwest, it now appears to be the only such.
We won't say, yet, that Democrat Darcy Burner is poised to defeat Republican Representative Dave Reichert. But we will say the momentum is hers, and unless she stalls in the next month - maybe even then - he will have to find a way to turn things around, quick, if he's to survive.
A year ago, such a situation seemed maybe not wildly improbable, but less than likely. Reichert had just been elected by not a big but a significant margin, is a very well known figure in the area, has endured no big scandal, and faces a candidate who started out not only virtually unknown but also without ever having run for office before. And bear in mind that almost all congressmen who run for re-election win.
So what has happened to shift the balance? (more…)