The Washington State Democratic Party’s three highest profile 2022 candidates each managed to build on their strong Election Night performance today, putting more distance between themselves and their opponents.
With most counties’ second-day reports in (though not all), Senator Patty Murray’s advantage over Tiffany Smiley increased from 241,581 votes to 267,763 votes.
Meanwhile, in the 8th Congressional District, Representative Kim Schrier’s lead over Matt Larkin increased from 11,067 votes to 11,357 votes.
And Secretary of State Steve Hobbs’ lead over Julie Anderson went from 50,938 votes to 53,370 votes. The number of write-in votes increased by 13,172.
There will be at least two more significant counts. After that, the number of ballots left to process will be fairly small and unlikely to alter any outcomes.
Murray, Schrier, and Hobbs all spoke to an upbeat crowd of Democratic activists and party leaders last night in Bellevue, a mere two blocks away from where Smiley and Republicans had gathered for their election night party.
Since Chair Tina Podlodowski took over, the Democratic Party has held its big election night gathering in Bellevue rather than in Seattle, representing the party’s commitment to go on offense and care about every race, every place. The party congregated at the Bellevue Hilton four years ago and was at the Westin this year.
Democrats won the 8th Congressional District for the first time two years ago and held it last year. If Schrier wins again this year, the party will have won the district three consecutive times, with two of those elections being midterm cycles.
And that’s despite the 8th being an evenly-divided “tossup” district.
Murray, meanwhile, has now won six consecutive times (1992, 1998, 2004, 2010, 2016, and this year), dispatching a number of well-funded Republican opponents. Smiley, recruited by McConnell to go up against Murray, received plenty of support and assistance from national Republicans and became a fundraising juggernaut, pulling together more than $14 million for her challenge to Murray.
Smiley has thus far refused to concede, despite the election having been called promptly for Senator Patty Murray after the deadline to return ballots passed.
“It ain’t over, it ain’t over,” Smiley said on election night.
“I am an eternal optimist,” she told Republicans. “We’re confident that when every legal vote is counted, that we could turn the tide here in Washington State.”
That, of course, is wishful thinking. Smiley is getting soundly beaten and has no path to victory. She isn’t even winning Clark County, long a Republican bastion. Nor is she winning several of the coastal counties that turned to Trump.
Operatives for Smiley’s campaign continue to furiously send emails, even though the voting portion of the election has come to an end. There’s still an opportunity to part fools from their money, and the Smiley team intends to take advantage.
“Ballots are still being counted in Washington,” declared one appeal transmitted a few hours ago, nonsensically adding: “This election is far from over, so I’m hoping you can step up and chip in just $5 to help me finish this fight!”
“I know you’ve done so much to support my campaign, and I can’t thank you enough. But right now, the situation is critical. Votes are being counted as you read this, so your support has never been more needed.”
“Look, Friend,” it went on, “if there’s just one thing you do today to help save our country, make it chipping just $5 or $10 to my campaign. Please take this call to action. Help make history in Washington and turn crisis into hope for all.”
Another one begged: “I need your support to ensure that we have all resources necessary to make it through and secure victory! The future of Washington hinges on what’s to come. I am ready to serve you. I am ready to make a difference in Washington. In order to do that, our momentum can’t slow down!”
You wouldn’t know from reading Smiley’s emails that Election Night had come and gone, or that Smiley was hundreds of thousands of votes behind, or that the campaign was losing every major county in western Washington, or that the state had already been called for Murray by major mass media outlets.
Nope… as far as Smiley’s operatives are concerned, it’s business as usual. Fundraising time! They’re gonna keep grifting until they can’t.