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Posts published in November 2010

Re-electing Otter

Just off an election night conference call with Keith Allred, the Idaho Democratic nominee for governor. His message wasn't a concession, at least not formally, though he did talk about plans for the future that didn't have to do with moving into the governor's office.

He said that "I remain confident as ever in the message we are taking to Idaho voters." Idahoans seemed to be responsive to what he had to say, but "we knew this was a tough message to get out beyond the partisan labels."

Well, yes. At current numbers, with just short of half the vote counted, Allred was at 31.9% and incumbent Republican Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter 60.2% - a landslide number. The Republican atmospherics may have padded it a bit, but Otter clearly did very well regardless, no matter all those people who said they heard so little favorable about him.

Allred may have found some positive responses to his message, but nowhere near enough. At this point, he'll be lucky to crack a third of the vote - lower than Democrat Jerry Brady got in either of the last two cycles, though probably more than Robert Huntley did (29.1%) in 1998. Maybe; at this writing, a lot of conservative precincts are yet to be heard from.

Senate: No change, probably

Three Senate seats up in the Northwest this year, and probably no change coming out of any of them from this election.

Oregon's Ron Wyden, Democrat, is way ahead, and he's been called by national media to win. No question here.

In Idaho, Republican Mike Crapo is even further ahead; haven't spotted a specific national call of a win yet, but he surely has.

In Washington, much the closest race of the three where incumbent Democrat Patty Murray and Republican Dino Rossi have fought down to the wire. Rossi seemed to have an uptick in the last week or so, but it looks like not quite enough. It is close, 50.6% Murray to 49.4% Rossi, and a variety of counties still out. But the largest block of votes yet to be counted looks to be - and this has become a regular feature of Washington elections - in King County, which has so far been voting in landslide numbers for Murray. A close race, but she seems to have won it. (See also this post on Horse's Ass.)

First round – the House

The big national story is the (much-predicted) capture of the U.S. House by Republicans; and the Northwest looks to be a part of that. How much so isn't yet totally clear.

Looks fairly definitive at this hour, with polls closed an hour, that the Washington 3rd (the southwest corner) goes from Democratic to Republican control; Republican Jaime Herrera staked out a fairly strong lead which has held up.

In the Idaho 1st, Republican Raul Labrador is well ahead of Democratic incumbent Walt Minnick, who massively outspent him, at about 50%-43%. But the story there isbn't yet done; only about an eight of the vote is counted to this point.

Close calls too in other other districts. In the Oregon 5th, incumbent Democrat Kurt Schrader, who was very hard pressed by Republican Scott Bruun, has maintained a thin but consistent lead. In the Washington 2nd, Republican John Koster has a small lead over incumbent Democrat Rick Larsen, but little over a thousand votes, and only a first run of vote totals are up - too little to judge from.

Check points

You never know from one election to the next which spot in a given state will have the most up-to-date information; it keeps changing. So we operate on a list of several, each election night. No real point in checking before 8 p.m. local time. Link list:

WASHINGTON
Secretary of State - usually one of the best, regionally as well as in Washington. Love their county-breakout results maps.
King County Elections - home of around half of Washington's ballots.
Seattle Times - general coverage plus numbers.

OREGON
Secretary of State - not sure what they'll have on line tonight; historically, there's not been a lot of real-time data here. But check it out.
Multnomah County Elections - Notoriously late in processing, but check here to see how things will look on Wednesday.
Oregonian - Often the best real-time data comes via the Oregonian.
KGW-TV - This Portland station often has tightly-timed data as well.

IDAHO
Secretary of State - In the last couple of cycles the SoS has been posting good-time numbers. They advise that won't start till 9mtn/8pac.
Ada County Elections - a number of interesting race numbers should turn up here first.
Idaho Statesman - Some years they have the most up to minute numbers in the state (for statewide, and the southwest reaches of Idaho). Sometimes not.
KTVB-TV - Traditionally strong with election night numbers, though mileage varies.

On air

If you're around Twin Falls, or available to a radio stream: I'm on the morning news program at KLIX-AM, out of Twin Falls, right about now - just past 9 a.m. Mountain Time.

Topic du jour can be reasonably resumed.