First off, let's just put any lingering concerns over R-74 to rest. It closed Tuesday night with 51.79 percent support, and a 68,111 vote lead. Two days later it enjoys 52.56 percent support and a 123,478 vote lead. About 75 percent of the vote is now in, and the late ballots have trended toward approval. R-74 has won. It's not worth tracking anymore. So I won't.
As for the governor's race, I know Rob McKenna is telling reporters (at least, those he's on speaking terms with) that he has the math to take the lead. But if there's one thing we learned from his campaign, it's that Rob McKenna isn't very good at math.
Democrat Jay Inslee got 51.32 percent of the 1.9 million ballots counted on election night, for a 50,209 vote lead. Another 575K ballots later, Inslee's margin has been squeezed slightly to 51.13 percent, while his numerical lead has actually grown to 54,398 votes. It doesn't do McKenna much good to narrow the margin without chipping away at Inslee's overall lead.
McKenna's thesis is that early voters broke for Inslee, but that late voters broke for him. And in fact, we're beginning to see that trend, particularly in King County, where Inslee won only 56.7 percent of yesterday's smaller second drop, sharply down from his 63 percent election night tally. That's a pretty big swing. But it's just one, smallish, local batch, and statewide, it hasn't yet proved big enough. Indeed, while fifteen counties have trended toward McKenna since Tuesday, eight counties have actually moved a bit in Inslee's direction, including Yakima and Pierce. The result has been a bit of a wash.
The problem for McKenna's math wizards is that the pool of uncounted ballots is fast running dry (maybe 600K to 800K remain), and King County still accounts for a slightly disproportionate share of those outstanding. I'll continue to keep a close eye on this race, but I still don't expect to regret calling it for Inslee on election night.
But there are two other statewide races that can legitimately still be considered too close to call: I-1240, the billionaire-backed charter schools initiative, and the race for Secretary of State between Democrat Kathleen Drew and Republican Kim Wyman. That said, don't expect either to flip their leads.
I-1240 led Tuesday night with 51.24 percent support and a 46,178 vote lead. Today its lead has shrunk to 50.97 percent support and 45,582 votes. That's the right direction, but barring an explicable late surge in the No vote, too little too late to kill the fucker.
In the Secretary of State race, Wyman has actually expanded her lead, from a bare 50.39 percent and 14,243 votes on election night, to 50.71 percent and 32,499 votes today. That's the wrong direction for Drew, and I see no reason to expect it to change course.
So there you have it. For all the bellyaching about slow ballot counts, it appears the election night results will stand. And for good reason: 60 percent is a pretty damn big statistical sample.