Our Thursday post on the regional U.S. House races listed Washington's 5th district contest, between incumbent Republican Cathy McMorris and Democratic challenger Peter Goldmark, as a serious contest - running up steadily to the point that it now merits serious watching.
We half-expected some counter on that from some area Republicans, and surely would have a few months ago. But conditions have changed, that assessment is mainstream, and now comes confirmation that the race is closing from none other than McMorris.
We got this courtesy of a glitch in telephone technology and Spokane Spokesman-Review political reporter Jim Camden. Camden on Thursday had dialed in to listen to a McMorris town hall session on veterans. Placed on mute (so that he couldn't participate) - but inadvertently not on hold, like other participants, which would have blocked the private conversation - he overheard some pre-meeting chatter between McMorris and Idaho Senator Larry Craig, who chairs the Senate committee on veterans services. During that short conversation, McMorris told Craig, "It's a closer race than I first imagined," and advised her fellow Republican that Goldmark was "hitting very hard" on veterans issues.
Craig's response was that nationally, "The new numbers are just devastating."
This looks to be turning into an unusual political season.