There's a limit to how closely lessons ought to be drawn from the vote numbers in last week's Top 2 primary election in Washington. Although not a partisan primary in the usual sense, it probably drew a disproportionately partisan electorate - Democrats and Republicans eager to choose among their own, even if only imperfectly. Still, the thing was wide open to all, and it will stand as the best indicator of public attitudes until November.
Looking to the legislative races, there did seem to be some drawable conclusions. A lot of legislative districts behaved in the primary exactly as you'd expect - heavily R or D districts delivered almost all their votes for their partisans, for example. Extending that: We so few indicators of major shifts in voting patterns away from those established in the last few cycles.
Beyond that, here are some odds and ends we noticed.
District 2 (Pierce, Thurston). Reinforcement here, really, of just how split this district is - and no indication that, unlike some suburban-type districts, this one is moving in the Democratic direction. While Democratic Senator Marilyn Rasmussen held on to 50.7%, the two Republican House members in this district took 55.8% and 61.6% against a total of five Democrats. Rasmussen may have her hands full.
District 5 (rural east King County). One of the few still-Republican slices of King County, the question gets raised: Will it stay Republican? The two House races here, each featuring a Republican incumbent, seem to offer different prospects: Jay Rodne pulled a solid 58.8%, but Glenn Anderson only 50.8% - in a possible danger zone. (more…)