Jim Brunner has an interesting analysis of the Washington governor's race and the important role get-out-the-vote (GOTV) campaigns played in Democrat Jay Inslee's victory.

Washington Dems spent $2 million on GOTV, hiring 40 paid field organizers, plus another 15 from Inslee's campaign. The Dems made a million phone calls and knocked on 300,000 doors over the final five days of the campaign alone. By comparison, the state Republican Party and the Rob McKenna campaign spent only $300,000 combined on their ground game, hiring just 20 paid field organizers.

So, how do local Republican apologists explain this dramatic mismatch?

The state GOP was left to fend for itself after the Republican National Committee reversed an earlier plan to spend $400,000 on a get-out-the-vote campaign here, [state GOP chair Kirby] Wilbur said. The national Republican Party also declined to spend significant money in Washington's U.S. Senate and House races.

"This get-out-the-vote stuff is not rocket science, but you cannot do it without money," said former state Republican chairman Chris Vance, who said the lack of national GOP spending here was a big change from previous elections.

Uh-huh. Let's be clear. The Republicans didn't lack for money. Rob McKenna and the "independent" campaigns supporting him outspent their Democratic counterparts by about a million and half dollars. So McKenna and the state GOP had plenty of cash available to spend on GOTV. They just didn't.

"They chose to spend money on TV," state Democratic spokesman Benton Strong tells me, while "we invested heavily in a strong, far-reaching get out the vote program. It's a clear difference in what we see as important," says Strong. "For us, relationships with voters are invaluable."

It was also a clear difference in strategy. And the Democratic strategy just proved more effective.

In fact, Washington Dems typically enjoy a huge GOTV advantage. That's one of the reasons I was relatively confident that Inslee's 2-3 point lead in the polls would hold up on election night: With a strong Democratic ground game in place, Democratic turnout was unlikely to be disappointing. And in the end, the three counties that gave Inslee his biggest margins—San Juan, King, and Jefferson—also had some of the highest turnout rates in the state.

Local Republicans can blame the national party all they want, but the Dems simply ran a better campaign. Dems had a better strategy, they had better ads, and in Inslee, they had a better candidate. So all the other excuses Wilbur et al put forth to explain McKenna's loss are just that: Excuses.