Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Larsen pulls ahead of Koster in WA-02, Patty Murray widens lead over Dino Rossi

U.S. Representative Rick Larsen pulled ahead of his Republican challenger John Koster for the first time earlier this evening, in a sign that Democratic get-out-the-vote efforts made a big but slightly delayed impact on election returns.

As of 6:30 PM this evening, results were:

Rick Larsen: 50.13% (97,731 votes)
John Koster: 49.87% (97,224 votes)

Larsen's lead, of course, is tenuous, just as Koster's was. But if current trends continue, Larsen is going to go on to defy the pundits and win, preventing Republicans from grabbing a majority of the House seats in Washington's congressional delegation.

Larsen is winning Whatcom County, the sliver of King County in his district, and San Juan County. Koster is winning Island County, the part of Snohomish County that's in the the 2nd, and Skagit County.

This is a dogfight if we've ever seen one. Since the difference is only a few hundred votes, we won't know the outcome for days.

The U.S. Senate race, on the other hand, appears to be decided. Dino Rossi's campaign staff want us to believe otherwise, but they've offered no evidence to justify their contention that Rossi will close the gap. And they can't. Murray is winning too many swing counties to be overtaken by Rossi. She has the lead in Snohomish, Whatcom, Kitsap, Jefferson, and Thurston. She's also carrying Grays Harbor and Pacific. She's also staying competitive in Pierce.

The reality is, Rossi's strongholds are not going to be able to win a duel with King County, which is breaking hard for Murray. Rossi's strongholds may have many ballots left to count, but then, so does King County, which is home to more people than all of eastern Washington combined.

It's funny how the news networks aren't calling the race. It's as if they're too hung over from going wild on Tuesday night to bother.

If Dino Rossi doesn't want to concede, he doesn't have to. It doesn't matter. Washington is sending Patty Murray back to the U.S. Senate, and there's nothing he or his lobbyist friends can do about it.


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