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Posts published in “Day: November 1, 2014”

An election night agenda

idaho RANDY

The big national story Tuesday night will have to do with control of the U.S. Senate, which as this is written is a very close call.

In Idaho, control of the legislature will not be much of a point of suspense. But there’ll be plenty to watch elsewhere.

Start with the voter turnout; information about that should be released early. High turnout tends to mark enthusiasm for something; low turn out, a turning off. Very early indicators from early-voting states around the country have been mixed (North Carolina running high, Nevada running low). The turnout level may give some meaning to the wins and losses in its wake. What are voters thinking?

Turnout could also affect how some of the Idaho races settle, too.

Attention always goes first to the top of the ballot, but in most Idaho races there’s not a lot of basis – at least in considering polling and other normal indicators - for expecting close contests. If the early results for congressional and governor races do show close numbers across a range of counties, expect a long night, but be wary of betting on that happening. Do the Republicans running for Congress reach landslides (which I define as 60 percent of the vote or better), as they typically have in the past, or does a generic dissatisfaction hit, making the races closer?

The governor’s race will get central attention, of course, after a number of tea-leaf readers have begun to conclude it’s close after all. How close?

The real interest more likely ought to go to places on the Idaho ballot that generally get little attention, those statewide offices like secretary of state, state treasurer and superintendent of public instruction, all of which have seen lively campaigns this year.

There’s not been a lot of polling on these races, either (when it’s really infrequent you get no trend lines or basis for comparison), and it’s hard to know how much the campaign messages have been sinking in. Many Idaho voters probably couldn’t tell you very accurately what the state secretary, treasurer and superintendent each do, and therefore how to assess the importance of the campaign arguments. Did some of those messages actually connect? Are voters willing to look beyond party labels, which is what many typically seem to use as a guide to voting?

That in fact may be another thing to watch for: Any sign of split-ticket voting, which has been in decline in Idaho (as in many other places) for a couple of generations now. (more…)

On the front pages


Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

Attorneys battle in 4th district judge race (Boise Statesman)
Boise school board member quits, blasts board (Boise Statesman)
Balukoff says Otter only a part-time governor (Boise Statesman)
Moscow mobile park owner hit with big fines (Lewiston Tribune, Moscow News)
Clarkston sied over its ban on pot sales (Lewiston Tribune)
UW talks about expanding med school at Spokane (Moscow News)
Idaho school wifi costs may decrease (Nampa Press Tribune)
Reviewing U.S. Senate contest (Nampa Press Tribune)
Voter turnout in Magic Valley expected low (TF Times News)

OSU reaches $1 billion in fund campaign (Corvallis Gazette)
Woman detained at Portland for ebola exam (Portland Oregonian, Corvallis Gazette, KF Herald & News, Pendleton E Oregonian)
Eugene PUD recorded calls, faces blowback (Eugene Register Guard)
Studded tire season is back (KF Herald & News)
Jackson Co voter turnout running high (Medford Tribune)
Asphalt plan has to reapply for zoning at Talen (Medford Tribune)
Elk hunter gets varied results (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Our Oregon driving voter turnout (Portland Oregonian)
Marion County developing Ebola plan (Salem Statesman Journal)
Landlords put up fewer Section 8 limits (Salem Statesman Journal)

Olympic College gets more from trust (Bremerton Sun)
Fees for Olympic park may double (Bremerton Sun)
Another death in Marysville shooting (Seattle Times, Everett Herald, Vancouver Columbian, Yakima Herald Republic)
Inslee trying to build climate support (Everett Herald, Longview News)
Cowlitz officials prepare for Ebola (Longview News)
Mars Hill church shutting down (Seattle Times)
UW looks at new Spokane med school option (Spokane Spokesman)
Spokane County may grab delapidated Mead land (Spokane Spokesman)
Spokane council leader may face ethics charge for leak (Spokane Spokesman)
Ft Vancouver National Trust CEO departs (Vancouver Columbian)
Didier blocks planned GOP voter outreach (Yakima Herald Republic)