NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Initiative to lower class sizes in Washington now passing by a slim margin

Some hap­py news to report tonight: Ini­tia­tive 1351, which man­dates low­er class sizes in Wash­ing­ton’s pri­ma­ry and sec­ondary schools, is final­ly pass­ing after hav­ing trailed on Elec­tion Night and in yes­ter­day’s count.

After King Coun­ty fin­ished tab­u­lat­ing and report­ing a fresh batch of bal­lots (its sec­ond count of the day), I‑1351 went from los­ing to win­ning. What for­tu­itous tim­ing! Just a few hours ago, Tim Eyman had sent out an email to the media crow­ing about the ini­tia­tive being down. But now it’s pre­vail­ing!

Here’s where things stand now:

Yes on I‑1351: 810,243 votes (50.14%)
No on I‑1351: 805,583 votes (49.86%)

This means the Yes side has a fair­ly slim 4,660 vote lead.

Spokane Coun­ty has flipped into the Yes col­umn, a day after Sno­homish Coun­ty flipped to No. Sno­homish is still No, but not by much.

What accounts for the change? In a few words, late bal­lots from more pop­u­lous coun­ties. The more sparse­ly pop­u­lat­ed rur­al coun­ties are vot­ing I‑1351 down by sig­nif­i­cant mar­gins. For the most part, those coun­ties have few bal­lots left on hand to process, so their influ­ence on the result is wan­ing.

The pop­u­lous coun­ties, on the oth­er hand, still have plen­ty of bal­lots to tab­u­late. King Coun­ty alone has 132,042 bal­lots still to work through. Pierce Coun­ty has 21,000; Sno­homish has 78,000, and Spokane has 26,000.

If the trends hold, we project a win for the Yes on I‑1351 coali­tion. It won’t be a land­slide vic­to­ry, but it will be a vic­to­ry nonethe­less.

Coun­ties where I‑1351 is win­ning include King and San Juan (reli­able Demo­c­ra­t­ic strong­holds), along with Jef­fer­son, Kit­sap, Pierce, Spokane, What­com, Grays Har­bor, and.… wait for it… Asotin! It’s very unusu­al to see King and Pierce in an alliance that does not include Sno­homish Coun­ty, but, there you have it.

Sno­homish and Mason are bare­ly in the No col­umn, and Sno­homish might just flip back before the elec­tion is cer­ti­fied. We’ll have to see.

Oth­er coun­ties that are some­what close but still No are Skag­it and Thurston.

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One Comment

  1. 50 years ago, Wash­ing­ton elect­ed a Repub­li­can gov­er­nor in the same year as the LBJ land­slide, so we have a his­to­ry of buck­ing nation­al trends.

    # by Mike Barer :: November 7th, 2014 at 8:43 AM