Our analysis of the 2008 governor's race in Washington would be a little different from that of former state Republican chair (and former elected official) Chris Vance, who has delivered his take on it at Crosscut. We'd throw in several additional reasons that Democratic incumbent Chris Gregoire did much better this time against Republican Dino Rossi - the power of incumbent and image reshaping (on both sides) among them. The qualitative differences in the 04 and 08 Democratic campaigns would be useful to mention too.
But this bit at the end really seems worth highlighting and absorbing:
Rossi’s numbers were down all across the state, but it is the results in King County that Republicans must focus on. John McCain received an incredible 28 percent of the vote in King County. Rossi received 36 percent, down from 40 percent in 2004. In 2004, Rossi lost King County by 18 percent; this time he lost by 28 percent — the biggest change of any of the large counties. Republicans will never elect a Governor or U.S. Senator, or regain legislative majorities in Olympia, if this trend in King County continues.
It wasn’t new voters that made this difference; it was a continuation of the long-term erosion of Republican support among suburbanites. This key shift is the most important factor Republicans must address going forward.