It's not every day you get to celebrate the complete and total failure of a millionaire. In the race to represent Washington's 8th Congressional District, former state senator Dino Rossi lost against Kim Schrier, a pediatrician and first-time Democratic candidate from Sammamish, by nearly 15,000 votes. It's one for the history books, and not just because a Democrat has never represented the 8th District in the US House of Representatives before.
I guess an enthusiastic endorsement from the Seattle Times (like Rossi got) only goes so far. Schrier's decisive win humiliated Rossi, handing him his fourth consecutive political defeat since 2004. But if you go all the way back to his first run for the state senate in 1992, it's actually the fifth time he's been officially declared a loser. That year, he lost to Kathleen Drew. He ran for the same seat in 1996 and proved victorious, but that was the last time voters decided to send him into office. In 2004, he lost the governor's mansion to Christine Gregoire (by a mere 133 votes). He lost to her again by a much larger margin in 2008. Then he lost to Senator Patty Murray in his bid for the US Senate in 2010.
To add a heaping tablespoon of ignominy to his most recent defeat: Rossi had always carried the 8th District's voters (by roughly 10 points) in those previous statewide races. The district, which was redrawn following the 2010 census to ensure Republican rule, stretches from Issaquah down to Auburn and over the mountains to Wenatchee. Outgoing Republican congressman Dave Reichert won his last three races in this district by 20 points. You could practically hear the Washington State GOP patting themselves on the back for recruiting Rossi to run for Congress this cycle. In their fantasies, that big blue wave was going to crash against the mighty rocks of the Rossi campaign and dissolve into nothingness.
Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. Rossi didn't even carry his own fucking neighborhood(s). According to a precinct-level analysis from the Seattle Times, Schrier won 65 percent of the votes in Rossi's hometown of Sammamish. Rossi owns a house near the lake and another house near Soaring Eagle Regional Park. Schrier beat him by 8 points in the former neighborhood and by 18 points in the latter. He lost so bad that the kid he pays to mow his lawn probably can't even cut the grass with his chin up.
To lose against Schrier must sting with a special intensity. An early poll conducted by the House Majority PAC showed Rossi beating Schrier by five points in a general election matchup. The Democrats didn't put forth their strongest candidate, according to that poll, and Rossi still lost. But a poll isn't a campaign, and the exact opposite scenario than what was predicted ended up playing out after both sides spent millions of dollars on ads.
Ads in favor of Rossi included an anti-Semitic mailer distributed in the final days of the campaign showing Schrier, who is Jewish, fanning out tons of cash. Rossi ran as the guy who achieved "success in politics" by earnestly reaching across the aisle. But he was perfectly content to look the other way while the Washington State GOP, the group that paid for the anti-Semitic ads, appealed to the Republican base's worst instincts—all of which was in keeping with Rossi's history of supporting homophobic policy, anti-immigrant policy, and draconian health-care policy.
Rossi needs a new hobby. Maybe he should try painting? I hear it does wonders for the dark souls of Republican hacks.