Adding to his analysis of Justice Richard Sanders surprising reelection loss, I just want to illustrate Eli's point about the role of King County voters in flipping this election, by comparing two simple numbers:

Sanders Pct. of King County Vote
2010 41.6%
2004 61.7%

Sanders underperformed his 2004 percentages almost throughout the state, but in few places by quite so large a margin as in King County, and certainly no place else with such a disproportionate chunk of the electorate. A 40-point swing in the margin between Sanders and his opponent is huge, but it's even more so when you consider the closeness of this race. To put this in perspective, all else being equal, had Sanders merely managed to secure an additional 1.2 percent of the King County vote—one percent less than his election night totals—he likely would have held on to victory.

So given that King County was so crucial to Sanders' defeat, and given the relative lack of money raised and spent by either candidate, this was a race whose outcome was certainly determined by coverage in the Seattle news media, and thus this was a race the Stranger played a key role in flipping. For not only did Eli's extensive coverage of Sanders persuade many of his readers to vote for Charlie Wiggins (or to even vote at all), it also contributed greatly to shaping a broader media frame within which it was not only possible, but imperative for the Seattle Times to pull its endorsement... and that was arguably the final blow that ultimately cost Sanders the election.

And no, I'm not just sucking up to my Stranger overlords; I've got no problem calling them a bunch of drunken douche-bags when that's what they're acting like. But if there's one thing I've harped on since I started HA back in 2004—a blog that has always focused on media criticism—it's that journalism matters. A truism that certainly proved itself in this State Supreme Court race.