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Thursday, July 19, 2007

More on Rodney Tom

posted by on July 19 at 14:45 PM

As Eli noted yesterday, Rodney Tom is a trendy topic these days. (At least here on Slog and in the PI, and in the Seattle Times anyway.)

Tom is the Republican-turned-Democrat state house Senator who’s taking on Darcy Burner in the Democratic Primary for the right to run against Republican Rep. Dave Reichert (R-8) for U.S. Congress.

In the discussion yesterday, Burner’s folks made the case that Burner was more viable than Tom. They explained that in last year’s election in Tom’s own 48th state senate district (parts of which fall within the 8th U.S. congressional district), in a de facto head-to-head between Burner and Tom, Burner scored 250 more votes in her race against Reichert than Tom scored against his GOP opponent at the time, incumbent state Sen. Luke Esser.

Eli deflated that argument (250 whole votes!) by pointing out the obvious: Tom’s race was “down ballot.” That is: More people who could vote in both races voted in the the Burner race—a U.S. Congress contest—than voted in a state senate race. Of course Burner got 250 more votes. It’s a wonder she didn’t beat Tom by more.

There’s something else worth noting here. In Tom’s actual head-to-head with a Republican incumbent, Luke Esser—who’s got some Reichert-esque hair of his ownTom won 53 to 46.

And there was nearly 68 percent turn out in the Tom/Esser contest, which seems like a good sampling of how Tom can do against an R in that district. And if anything, the 48th—with urban like Bellevue in the mix—is more liberal than the other parts of the 8th where Tom didn’t have to stand for election last time. Given that Tom’s coming at Burner from the right, I think his score in the 48th bodes well for him.

Moreover, given that Burner’s coming from the left and more people that could vote in both races voted in her race than in Tom’s, it’s not good news for Burner that she didn’t out poll Tom by more than 250 votes there.

RSS icon Comments


Hank the commentor deflated the argument not Eli who went with the Burner PR (Sandeep?) and you're still not expressing the main point very well, that the congressional district is not as liberal as the legislative district, therefore Tom's argument that his more centrist position will help him makes sense.

Burner ran as a change agent with little content. I'm not pulling for the first MSFT congressman.

Posted by whatever | July 19, 2007 3:03 PM


Posted by whatever | July 19, 2007 3:07 PM

I don't understand how the number of ppl who voted for Burner in her race has anything to do w/ the number of ppl who voted for Tom in his has anything to do with how likely any outcome would be in a future race. Seems like grasping at straws at best, and pulling stuff out of your ass to cloud peoples' judgment at worst.

How was it a 'de fact head to head' again?

Posted by NaFun | July 19, 2007 4:06 PM

There is going to be a lot of speculation like this, but the 48th is not equal to the 8th, and Tom will need to be able to campaign beyond the front door stoops of his district.

I think that Stefan's pseudo endorsement ( of Rodney Tom, and his continuous prodding regarding Tom's support of Blethen's Estate Tax repeal efforts, isn't going to do Tom much good with progressives in the primary.

Posted by Daniel K | July 19, 2007 5:56 PM

BS to both arguments.

The truth: Rodney Tom is not significantly more popular in his district then Darcy.

Posted by Steve | July 20, 2007 12:46 PM

Darcy is a smarmy little twat with a fake resume and a trophy kid. No wonder the Stranger is dumping her after a one-night stand in 2006.

Don't bend over in the shower, Rodney.

Posted by Rey Smith | July 20, 2007 12:55 PM

Why should anyone think a real estate agent from Medina would be any more popular in Maple Valley than the "Microsoft mom" / military brat or the former sheriff? Party affiliation be damned, where is the contrast between Reichert and Tom that will grab independents? When choosing between men, they will choose the "manlier" man.

Posted by kurisu | July 20, 2007 6:41 PM

Look to the last election....Reichert just has to come close to a tie in King County...Pierce will go overwhelmingly to him just like last time tipping the scales.

Posted by Sierradog | July 21, 2007 12:21 AM

Reichert is unbeatable.

In a year where Foley's scandal was front page news for a month and where democrats swept in, the broom could not sweep him out. He is now a two-term congressman and is working hard for his district.

I see several comments about his 'manliness' but he does not waffle on his political affiliation (by sticking his finger in the air to see which party will give him more power this week), he has been a union police officer forever and is a nice guy (who doesn't pull cheap DC tricks in committee or pull all night-stunts).

Posted by ApolloKnowsAll | July 21, 2007 1:49 PM

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