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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Why McKenna Conceded, and Other Gleanings from Yesterday's Ballot Dump [Update: Drew Concedes SOS Race]

Posted by on Sat, Nov 10, 2012 at 2:18 PM

I have to admit that I was a bit surprised to learn that Rob McKenna had conceded the governor's race late yesterday afternoon, before many counties—including populous King—had reported their daily tally. Just one day before, McKenna campaign manager Randy Pepple had released a video (after the jump) explaining the campaign's mathematical path to victory . "[McKenna] asked me to talk to you today about some of the numbers behind the confidence he expressed yesterday," Pepple tells the camera, while standing in front of a white board with a bunch of numbers scribbled on it.

Pepple had argued that internal polling showed that late voters had broken hard for McKenna, and that we would start to see that trend accelerate sharply in Friday's ballot drop. But by mid-afternoon it was clear that this just wasn't happening. While some counties continued to trend modestly toward McKenna in yesterday's count, others were moving in Jay Inslee's direction. Indeed, of the 33 counties that reported results yesterday, only 16 had splits more favorable to McKenna than the Tuesday night results or the running average.

With about 85 percent of the ballots counted, Inslee's 51-49 margin is about half a point smaller than on election night, but his numerical lead has grown by more than 5,000 votes to 55,682. Even the math-challenged McKenna camp could see that there was no realistic way to make up that gap.

For similar reasons, I would expect Democrat Kathleen Drew to concede the Secretary of State's race* to Republican Kim Wyman. What was a 14,000 vote gap on election night has steadily widened to a 42,000 vote Wyman lead. I wouldn't be surprised to see this modest Republican trend reverse itself in subsequent ballot counts, but there just aren't enough ballots left to make a difference. Wyman has won.

Finally, in the only other allegedly undecided race, the billionaire-backed I-1240 charter schools initiative, the gap continues to narrow, but not nearly fast enough. No matter how much I want I-1240 to fail, I have to put my faith in the data, and the data tells that I-1240 has won.

So there you have it. There are still a couple legislative races that are legitimately too close to call, but at the statewide level, it's all over but the final margin.

* UPDATE: Shortly after I posted, Drew announced that she had conceded:

"Today, I called Kim Wyman to congratulate her on a hard fought victory and to concede the race. I know that she will carry forward Washington's tradition of fair and impartial elections, and I am optimistic that she will work on measures to remove barriers and increase voter participation."


Comments (15) RSS

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Occupy Seattle 15
We need to keep close watch on the Tea Party orgs Freedom Foundation and Washington Policy Center that backed Republican Kim Wyman's election (along with Kemper Freeman). These orgs have been touting the benefits of voter suppression in various forms - from changing ballot due dates to using voter suppression databases. These Karl Rove ALEC-funded thugs are up to no good, and Kim Wyman has thrown her lot in with these extreme conservatives. Only Stranger has been covering this, and something tells me we'll be seeing a whole lot of covert voter suppression activities in the coming year. Too bad Kathleen Drew isn't the Secretary of State. Sigh.
Posted by Occupy Seattle on November 11, 2012 at 7:37 PM · Report this
Goldy 14
@11 I-1240 passed because it had $10 million in ads for it, and nothing against it. Political advertising works when it is unopposed.

The WEA spent its money in the governor's race.
Posted by Goldy on November 11, 2012 at 10:23 AM · Report this
@Big Sven I dunno. Sounds as sketchy as my own theory, plus it's a billionaire's plaint. That's why I want to see a breakout of the numbers.
Posted by Che Guava on November 11, 2012 at 8:20 AM · Report this
Big Sven 12
Che- there is a perception that the WEA is the last bastion of unresponsive collective bargaining and fights any and all efforts at ed reform, such as laying off unsatisfactory teachers first when you have to do layoffs. 1240 is seen as a leveraging tool to get the WEA to the reform table. I think there are great teachers and local unit leadership out there, but sometimes the WEA doesn't handle feedback and community concerns any better than the police unions.
Posted by Big Sven on November 11, 2012 at 2:35 AM · Report this
Overall, a very satisfying election, easily the most satisfying of my lifetime (marriage equality and legal cannabis will do that...). I'm not too concerned about Secretary of State - Wyman does seem reasonable and that's a sound approach when surrounded by a phalanx of Democrats.

But can someone please explain how I-1240 passed? I have a few theories, such as dipshit liberals falling for Lake Wobegon propaganda, but it's wiser to have a stat samurai dice up the numbers so we can get busy kneecapping this billionaire's golem of nonsense.
Posted by Che Guava on November 10, 2012 at 11:36 PM · Report this
polkaparty 10
Although Drew would have been a great SoS, Wyman will be just fine. Plus it sends a message to the GOP that the only Republicans that can be elected statewide are competent, non-idealogical candidates.
Posted by polkaparty on November 10, 2012 at 5:40 PM · Report this
Goldy 9
@6 I didn't see your post until after I posted. But it illustrates a point about how obvious and unremarkable our conclusions have been. While other news outlets have been whining about how long it takes to determine the outcome of an election, you and I were pretty comfortable from the start that the election night results weren't likely to change. SoS and I-1240 were the only too-close-to call races, and even they could have been called Thursday, if not earlier.
Posted by Goldy on November 10, 2012 at 5:29 PM · Report this
So Washington voters trust Dems to run the state but not to manage elections I guess. Where are the only moderate GOPers in WA, in the SoS office I guess.
Posted by Seattle14 on November 10, 2012 at 4:42 PM · Report this
Some things are just too damn funny not to be repeated again and again ....…

Posted by sgt_doom on November 10, 2012 at 4:40 PM · Report this
Hey Goldy, were you reading from my notes? I posted pretty much the same thing (even down to the same update) on HA, an hour earlier.

Like minds, and all that...
Posted by N in Seattle on November 10, 2012 at 4:31 PM · Report this
Breaking News:

Washington state elects a governor named Jay, while also legalizing Marijuana.

Coincidence? We....think....not. (Psssst! Hey buddy, wanna jay?)

Breaking News:

70% of CIA employees resign.

Following the example of CIA Director David Petreus, who resigned after his extramarital affair came to light, 70% of CIA employees felt compelled to also resign for the same reason.

(He'll probably end up with his buds, Gen. McChrystal and John Negroponte at Yale's "presitigious" Jackson Institute (a k a Institute for Mass Murder, MK ULTRA Retirment Home).

Breaking News:

PETA Alert! PETA Alert! PETA Alert!

Local KIRO radio personality, Rachel Bell, joyously reported that during a visit to a farm, a cow sauntered over and licked Rachel's cowhide boots.

News flash, Rachel! That poor cow was saying goodbye to a former sibling, you heartless bimbo!

Breaking News:

Australian astronomers discover 700,000 new galaxies, but not a single Aussie astronomer could be bothred to name them.


"We don't break the news, we only report it when it's broken!"

Copyright © Rocky-Bullwinkle News Corp, Firstbite Falls, Transylvania
Posted by sgt_doom on November 10, 2012 at 4:23 PM · Report this
Kathleen Drew would have been a great Secretary of State. Too bad. We lost a good one there!
Posted by 1971 on November 10, 2012 at 4:15 PM · Report this
Daddy Love 3
Data-schmata. Karl Rove tells me everything I need to know.
Posted by Daddy Love on November 10, 2012 at 4:11 PM · Report this
Well, it's not like you can go wrong with a rethuglican in the position. I mean they are known for their belief in fair voting.
Posted by Mugwumpt on November 10, 2012 at 4:08 PM · Report this
Sad to see Kathleen Drew lose - she has great ideas to make voting easier in Washington state, which is counter to trends in several other states.
Posted by Ebenezer on November 10, 2012 at 3:35 PM · Report this

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