The Northwest figures prominently in the end of year awards by national political analyst Stu Rothenberg. Assessing all the races around the country, he put some of the Northwest's key contests into top-of categories.
"Master of self-destruction" - Departing Idaho Republican Representative Bill Sali is a finalist: "That leaves me with having to choose between Sali, who would have been re-elected indefinitely if he had made any effort to get along with people, and Mahoney [Tim Mahoney, D-Florida], the hypocrite’s hypocrite. Tough call. I can’t make it. How about calling it a tie?"
"Strongest Republican Swimmer Against the Tide" - Returning Washington Republican Representative Dave Reichert. "Reichert has turned back two strong challenges in terrible environments in a swing district that has gone Democratic at the presidential level . . ."
"Time to Stop Running" - Nominee, Idaho Democrat Larry LaRocco. "LaRocco’s last two showings suggest that maybe running statewide in Idaho isn’t his best option."
"Biggest Long-Shot Winner" - Nominee (without comment) Democrat Walt Minnick, who ousted Sali.