Republicans never mustered more than 50 percent of the vote in a statewide race last night. Even when you added up votes for all the Republicans in one race. That's a terrible omen in a divided state like Washington. A primary election with a low turnout (dominated by older voters) historically skews conservative, and early returns tend to favor Republicans. If the GOP can't win most votes with this electorate, they're set up to fail in the general election.
He's taking a 52-38 loss to Democrat Bob Ferguson and an even bigger loss of 27 points in King County. But you wouldn't know it from the GOP attorney general candidate's "Statement on Primary Victory" email sent to supporters this morning.
The trends could reverse in later returns, but that seems unlikely. In the blue bastion of King County, voter turnout is expected to be 10 percent higher than the state overall. The county's turnout is projected at 52 percent, says King County Elections spokeswoman Kim van Ekstrom. That leaves the county, which has reported about 40 percent of what it expects to report, with a projected 335,000 votes still to be tallied. Statewide, about 50 percent of votes have been counted. In other words, later returns will likely skew to King County's progressive bias.
BAD OMEN: This was the sickly-looking elephant vomitting into the punch bowl at Rob McKenna's party.
By victory, it turns out, Dunn was talking about making it through the "Republican primary" (a thing that does not technically exist in Washington State). There never was any contest between his GOP competitor, quixotic bigot and serial campaign loser Stephen Pidgeon, who took about 9 percent of the vote. Even if the Republican votes are combined, that's still a losing GOP vote of only 47 percent against Ferguson, which may further drop as lefty returns come in from King County. This looks goddamn terrible for Dunn going into the general election, where voters are younger and more Democratic. Will absurd smear tactics will help? Dunn's victory email continues: "My opponent has stated explicitly that he has no intention of going after criminals who threaten the safety of Washington families." Ferguson = family hater. God knows what Dunn is droning on about here, but it's dismissible bloviating from a guy who just got drubbed by a 14-point margin and called it a victory.
In contrast, Democrat Peter Goldmark won nearly 52 percent of the vote in a three-way race against Republican Clint Didier and an independent. Likewise, Democrat Mike Kreidler won 54 percent of the vote for insurance commissioner.
Okay, you might be saying, those races both featured incumbent Democrats who have won statewide, so let's look at at open seats. Even there, Republicans got their asses kicked.
The only Republican candidate for Secretary of State, Kim Wyman, won 39 percent of the vote. Next up: Troy Kelly could be the next state auditor, leading the pack of Democrats against James Watkins (who got only 45 percent of the votes).
Or how about the governor's race.
Even there, Democrats hurdled the 50-percent mark. Jay Inslee, who's never won statewide, took nearly 47 percent of the vote, along with Rob Hill snagging another 4 percent. Sure, that's only 51 percent, but it's a Democratic advantage in a conservative race that, by all conventional predictions, they were supposed to lose. Republican Rob McKenna has won statewide twice before. But he only got 43 percent of the vote, putting him an awful place when he's up against a dogged effort to get out the vote for Obama, gay marriage, and pot legalization. Conservatives will be driven to the polls, too, of course, but it will be hard to overcome the progressive home-turf advantage of November in a historically blue state.
Meanwhile, in Democratic losers: Poor Laura Ruderman's mom! And by poor, I mean, she's literally made out of money piles that she stuffed into ad buys to smear her daughter's opponent. Not only did it not work, it super-not-worked. Ruderman got a hilarious 7 percent of the vote. So Ruderman is out. Darcy Burner conceded. And Democrat Suzan DelBene, and her $2.3 million is self-funded hubris, overcame Rudermom to win a spot on the general election ballot. Still, Suzan DelBene is the worst sort of candidate: No charisma, bravery, or agenda—just lots of money to buy an election.
But lifeless Democrat DelBene could beat John Koster, who—like other Republicans—couldn't win a majority for his party. Koster only mustered 43 percent of the vote with no GOP challengers.