Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts published in “Day: February 19, 2008”

A little bit more, a little bit less

So what's the matter with King County election reporting this time? As of this writing - about 10 p.m. - returns in Washington's largest county have been stuck at a little over two percent of precincts reporting. Slow, slow . . .

The statewide core story, nonetheless, seems to be clear enough. Among Republicans, Arizona senator John McCain is getting the strong, decisive him he doubtless hoped for in the caucuses, when former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee held him to a near draw. That matters, since about half of the Washington national convention delegates get picked on the basis of this primary. And among Democrats, Illinois Senator Barack Obama was defeating New York Senator Hillary Clinton, though by a much slimmer margin that he did in the caucuses. Unfortunately for Clinton, only the caucuses matter in the Democratic contest.

There look to be some highly interesting variations in the county breakdowns. Which we'll post on soon, King County returns willing.

ID 1: Lewis out

Rand Lewis

Rand Lewis

The Democratic race for Idaho's 1st House seat has simplified, with the withdrawal of Rand Lewis and his endorsement of fellow candidate Larry Grant.

Lewis had some assets as a candidate, and we didn't dismiss the possibility he might win the primary, campaigns depending. How much his endorsement of Grant, who ran in 2006 and lost to Republican Bill Sali, is less clear.

The third - now second - candidate in the race, Walt Minnick, has gotten off to a strong and energetic start, well funded and strongly organized.

Grant will draw on residual loyalty from last time, and the real campaign skills he did demonstrate. Minnick will have a good deal of party organization support and plenty of cash - more, now, than Sali. This contest will develop a sharp edge over the next few months.

A different kind of Port Townsend

Port Townsend

Port Tonsend city logo

We first visited Port Townsend about four years ago, and on riding up from the south it first had the appearance of a working port town, with an industrial sector and even substantial boat storage and repair businesses. Then proceeded north, into the heart of town, and saw something else.

There we saw what friends had touted for some time, one of the best small0city tourist destinations in the Northwest. Port Townsend once had ambitions to be a large city indeed - it once put in a serious bid for Washington's state capitol - and you can see that in the downtown business district, where you find one of the best collections of grand old buildings in any city (even many much larger) in the region. Not to mention the restaurants, bed and breakfasts, galleries and other artsy places you'd expect. It's not all regentrified yet, but the developers there are on their way.

Politically, you can see in the combination of industrial and resort/tourist the kind of voting base that gives Democrats a strong edge, and they do; this is one of Washington's most Democratic smaller cities.

So what happens now, socially and politically, as that tourist and resort side increasingly looks askance at the industrial/port side of town, the side that was Port Townsend's reason for existence through most of its history? (more…)

Markets for winners

Maybe the Northwest political blog news today out of Rasmussen Reports will emerge from its new poll of the Oregon Senate race, in which Republican incumbent Gordon Smith takes 48% of the vote against either of the two Democrats, Jeff Merkley (who gets 30%) and Steve Novick (35%). And maybe that's worthy of note, largely as an indicator of ongoing softness in Smith support.

And, as in a good many other states, Democrat Barack Obama would be projected to defeat Republican John McCain in Oregon, but McCain would be projected to beat Democrat Hillary Clinton.

But we spent more time with Rasmussen's markets, a sort of futures market - guesses on who will win. A number of national political markets have sprung up in recent years, with focus on the presidential level. Rasmussen's are more numerous and detailed. In addition to markets for how each state will vote in the November presidential (the ongoing primary and caucus states too well of course), there are also markets for U.S. Senate and governor races around the country. You can read the "buy contract" numbers almost, loosely, like percentages, since they add up to around 100, not as percentages of votes, but in terms of probability of a win.

In the Oregon Senate race, for example, the bid is 75 if you want to buy a contract on the proposition that the Republican nominee will win the general election, and 24 if you think the winner will be a Democrat. You can read it as what those (anonymous) participants thought were the odds of a victory by each side.

In the Idaho Senate race, the Republican contract is bid at 87.1, and the Democratic at 13.1.

For governor of Washington, the bidding is a little closer: 62.2 for the Democrat, 20 for the Republican.

For the general election for president? In Idaho, it's Republican 90 to Democrat 2.5; Oregon Democrat 80 and no current Republican bid; Washington Democrat 80 and Republican 10.

Nothing definitive or scientific here, but something worth tracking current and often-changing lines of thought.