After rolling around western Washington and Oregon in the tail end of this campaign season, we can isolate the geogrpahic area where politics has gone into overdrive: Bellevue, Washington.
We've watched the action around Oregon and Idaho and other parts of Washington, nothing seems to match the visibility and intensity of politics on the east side of King County. Our runaround on the Eastside in the last couple of days was startling for . . . well, for the signage, to start with.
On major roads, there seem to be large areas of Bellevue where political signs probably average one for every five or six feet. On road islands (like this one) they're planted so thickly only the tall plants can see the sun. And there's no lack of yard signs in yards, either. Turnon the TV here (well, anywhere in the Seattle area) and you're swamped by political ads - clearly a heavier load of them than in Oregon or Idaho, or eastern Washington.
Part of all this no doubt comes from the mashup of close and hot races in this area. The hottest congressional race in Washington, probably in the Northwest, is here - based around Bellevue - in the Washington 8th district. On top of that, about a half-dozen of the dozen or so top legislative races in the state are based within a half-hour drive of Bellevue, to its north and south. The margins in the U.S. Senate race - which in contest isn't a tossup but in which margins are still at stake - will be settled to a considerable extent here. (more…)