Tonight in West Seattle, the 34th District Democrats will make their endorsement for the fall election, possibly tipping the race for state representative. Coming out of the primary, there wasn't much room between two newcomers looking for the open seat: Joe Fitzgibbon, the young former Olympia aide with the backing of Washington Bus and The Stranger, came in only about 500 votes ahead of Mike Heavey, the son of a retired legislator. Winpower Strategies recently posted this map that shows which precincts each man won in the primary:

34th District Primary Results: Blue precincts were won by Fitzgibbon, red one by Heavey
  • Via Winpower strategies
  • 34th District Primary Results: Blue precincts were won by Fitzgibbon, red ones by Heavey, yellow precincts were tied.

"Fitzgibbon is winning the more middle-income areas of West Seattle and the liberal enclave Vashon Island while Heavey is winning the older, more upscale parts of West Seattle (mostly along the water)," says Winpower Strategies' John Wyble. Even if each goes after the other's strongholds, though, the race is tight.

Eli has questioned whether the 34th District endorsement, long coveted as a source of campaign lift, even matters anymore. For instance, they backed Marcee Stone in the primary and she went down dead last, with only 14 percent of the vote.

But in this particular election, the 34th Dems could matter. Admittedly, a district group's endorsement doesn't much to your average voter; however, it can matter a lot to the people who influence average voters. Particularly in a organization like the 34th Dems, which take this stuff very seriously (perhaps too seriously, if you've ever been to one of their endorsement meetings), the endorsement typically parlays into folks canvassing for the candidates, talking about their candidates, Facebooking about their candidates, etc. That social capital could go a long way for distinguishing a local candidate in an election when most folks are focused on the senate race and initiatives. That's all the more important when the race may be separated by just a few hundred votes. My money tonight is on Fitzey.