The campaign of Seattle mayoral hopeful Cary Moon chose the (new) Old Stove Brewing Marketplace on Western Avenue for its election night event.
For all it has going for it in craft beer and pretzels, having the Seattle Great Wheel as a backdrop for television live shots and photographs is a fine reason to pick the Old Stove over a club in Cap Hill as results come in. But the Moon campaign is making sure everyone has low expectations for the first ballot drop.
In the words of Moon’s team: “With low turnout projections and the high number of late voters, we’ll be happy to be within ten points of Durkan with this first drop. So we’ll be happy with 45% and above.”
In an earlier statement, the Moon campaign suggested Durkan could lose whatever lead she starts out with by the end of the count. That’s what happened to Richard Conlin in 2013, who started strong and faded as as late ballots were counted while opponent Kshama Sawant surged to victory. Moon’s campaign is hoping to ride a similar wave of late ballots that breaks strongly in their favor.
“We expect tonight’s counts will show Moon behind Durkan, and then will tighten up over the days ahead. As today’s Seattle Times notes, election night counts are often dominated by older, more conservative voters and subsequent counts trend towards younger, more liberal voters. We’ve seen up to 10-point gains between election night and final certification in Seattle (Sawant gained 7 points to beat Conlin in 2013; McGinn gained 10 points to come with 3.5 points of Murray that same year). And even Durkan’s supporters say they want a 6-point lead tonight.”
Now that the party’s official start time has passed, the room is filling up as more reporters arrive and set up their equipment, while supporters celebrate weeks and months of work by enjoying pretzels, craft beer, and a nice view.
8:15 PM UPDATE: The first numbers are in and it looks like a blowout for Jenny Durkan. The Moon campaign said they’d be happy starting out with a floor of 45% of the vote or more, so they can’t be happy.
People are starting to notice the first results, and it’s gotten a bit quieter as folk turn toward the televisions above the bar and check their phones.
9 PM UPDATE: “We’re up against really tough odds,” Moon noted as she sized up the election results, observing that opponent Jenny Durkan broke records outspending the Moon campaign by three to one, name-dropping some of the corporations that donated to Durkan or spent money on her behalf.
“Ballot counts may swing — will swing — in our direction in the next several days,” she said. But there’s no denying the campaign wanted 45% to start… and didn’t get it. They’re in a huge hole and mass media are already declaring Jenny Durkan Seattle’s next mayor. Nevertheless, Moon’s not ready to concede just yet.
“Seattle voters may surprise everyone,” Moon said as she wrapped up her speech. “Thank you all so much, and let’s celebrate together.”
— Lewis Kamb (@lewiskamb) November 8, 2017
Moon finished to cheers and talk among supporters about how low the turnout is so far and how tomorrow could bring better numbers. But others already focusing on the encouraging results in 45th District and nationally.
NPI’s Pacific NW Portal has comprehensive results for King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties in easy-to-read grid format. Bookmark this indispensable resource or add a shortcut to your smartphone’s home screen for easy access.