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.

Monday, August 7th, 2017

Manka Dhingra now has a double digit lead over Jinyoung Lee Englund in 45th LD

The sec­ond week of bal­lot count­ing is under­way in Wash­ing­ton’s 2017 Top Two elec­tion, and with today’s drop, the good news con­tin­ues for Man­ka Dhin­gra and the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty. Dhin­gra today achieved the sym­bol­ic thresh­old of a dou­ble dig­it lead over Repub­li­can oppo­nent Jiny­oung Englund, once again widen­ing her lead in what has become the dis­tric­t’s most lop­sided Sen­ate race in years.

Pun­dits and polit­i­cal observers had been expect­ing a close con­test, with a nar­row win pos­si­ble by either side. But this result is basi­cal­ly the oppo­site of that.

With today’s count in, Dhin­gra has 19,545 votes (51.49%); Englund has 15,745 votes (41.48%). The gap between Dhin­gra and Englund is now 3,800 votes.

Dhin­gra’s lead in this elec­tion is big­ger than any that have been held by either Andy Hill or his pre­de­ces­sor over the past eleven years. Take a look:

  • 2014 Gen­er­al Elec­tion, 45th LD Sen­ate (Dif­fer­ence: 2,660 votes)
    • Andy Hill ®: 25,816 votes
    • Matt Isen­how­er (D): 23,156 votes
  • 2010 Gen­er­al Elec­tion, 45th LD Sen­ate (Dif­fer­ence: 1,124 votes)
    • Andy Hill ®: 29,606 votes
    • Eric Oemig (D): 28,482 votes
  • 2006 Gen­er­al Elec­tion, 45th LD Sen­ate (Dif­fer­ence: 2,780 votes)
    • Eric Oemig (D): 25,027 votes
    • Toby Nixon ®: 22,247 votes

Repub­li­cans seem utter­ly bewil­dered that the $642,636.19 they sunk into ads smear­ing Man­ka Dhin­gra have failed to bol­ster Englund’s can­di­da­cy. Not only did Englund begin Elec­tion Night in a big hole, but that hole has got­ten deep­er… and deep­er… and deep­er… which isn’t what they were expect­ing.

With noth­ing but bad news com­ing out of the 45th LD, the state Repub­li­can Par­ty has opt­ed to ignore the elec­tion results and instead focus on oth­er (most­ly triv­ial) things. The par­ty did post a tweet the day after the elec­tion which read:

Thank you to our hard­work­ing can­vassers Dio, Bren­dan, Joe, and Austin. They’re mak­ing can­vass­ing great again!

More like the Democ­rats are mak­ing can­vass­ing great again. The Dhin­gra cam­paign has tru­ly demon­strat­ed a mas­tery of field oper­a­tions in this elec­tion. As a con­se­quence, the par­ty is an excel­lent posi­tion head­ing into the gen­er­al elec­tion, and will ben­e­fit from high morale and enthu­si­asm down the home stretch.

I can’t remem­ber a leg­isla­tive con­test in which a can­di­date down by as much as Englund is in this elec­tion came back to win in the gen­er­al. (Read­ers, if you know of an exam­ple, please men­tion it in the com­ments.) Top Two per­for­mance does not pre­cise­ly pre­dict gen­er­al elec­tion per­for­mance, but there is a cor­re­la­tion.

A reprise of what we’re see­ing now in the gen­er­al elec­tion would mean more than just a change in who runs the Sen­ate. For decades, the East­side of King Coun­ty has been a polit­i­cal bat­tle­ground, where leg­isla­tive majori­ties have been made and unmade. But increas­ing­ly, the East­side is becom­ing Demo­c­ra­t­ic ter­ri­to­ry.

Two of the region’s four core leg­isla­tive dis­tricts are now all-Demo­c­ra­t­ic (the 41st and the 48th). The 45th is weeks away from poten­tial­ly join­ing them. And next year, Democ­rats will have a fresh oppor­tu­ni­ty to make inroads in the 5th when House posi­tions held by Repub­li­cans Jay Rodne and Paul Graves are up.

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One Comment

  1. Hope that you are right. How­ev­er there was a light turnout in this elec­tion and the GOP does not have anoth­er race to sink its mon­ey into.

    # by Mike Barer :: August 8th, 2017 at 8:54 PM