We are now a week removed from the first election results and, of course, still counting ballots in Washington State while the rest of the country has largely moved on. And though we are still waiting for the final tallies, that hasn’t stopped Shift from spending the last few days gleaning a few things from the numbers, such as the “decimation” of the Democrat Party at all levels of government under Barack Obama’s “reign of error” in the White House.
Today’s lesson from the election builds upon an item we published the day after the election, when Shift wrote “for the second straight election, Jay Inslee lost the election in the 38 counties outside of King. However, according to the first-night numbers, Jay won King County by 258,853, offsetting Bill Bryant’s advantage in the other 38 counties.”
Those numbers have become even more clear in the last week, as Inslee now trails by over 60,000 votes outside of King County, and when the precinct data is available it will likely turn out that Inslee actually lost everywhere outside of the City of Seattle (again).
However, what is really apparent in looking at the our “green” governor’s results are his lack of coattails. It appears he was literally unable to lift any other candidate to victory because of the narrow nature of his effort.
Consider that on Halloween, a week before the election, Inslee sent an email to his supporters taking credit for the work of others and declaring that “I’m committed to protecting what we’ve accomplished so far. But I need strong Democrats by my side in the legislature”. He also blamed legislative Republicans for his own failures, saying “at every turn, Washington Republicans have tried to slow down and derail our achievements, even at the expense of their own constituents.”
Despite his pleas, Inslee was unable to move the legislative numbers. As of today, the House remains at a 50-48 Democrat advantage – with one Republican (Rep. Teri Hickel) still within striking distance to win and force a tie. And, in the Senate the Majority Coalition Caucus has an -25-24 advantage and late-breaking numbers hint at the GOP picking up the 5th District seat which would return the margin to its pre-election 26-23 level.
In other words, Inslee will have failed to help lift Democrat legislative candidates, especially outside King County. The only legislative changes in the state’s other 38 counties are Republicans picking up a House seat in Southwest Washington, and picking up a House district that crosses the Pierce-King County line.
This despite liberal interest groups spending millions to attack GOP candidates in Pierce, Mason, Snohomish, Island and Clark counties. They – and the governor – have nothing to show for that.
Additionally, Pierce County replaced a Democrat County Executive with Republican Bruce Dammeier, who gave up a State Senate seat to run.
But that kind of dismal result is what happens when you have a hyper-partisan in the governor’s office. Especially one who pays little attention to matters outside of Seattle and outside the narrow issues that his special interest donors in the environmental and labor community tell him to focus on.
And for that, the rest of the state can be thankful.