Sunday, October 12, 2008

Washington Governor Race

Race of the Day

Washington Governor

October 12, 2008
23 Days Until Election Day

Status: Democrat Incumbent
2004 Presidential Result: Blue State (West)

Outlook: Tossup (D)

Perhaps the closest race in the country in 2004 is seeing a rematch in 2008.

Republicans were feeling pretty good in November 2004 about what had just transpired around the country, including an apparent narrow upset victory for then Republican State Senator Dino Rossi over Democrat Christine Gregoire in the race for Washington Governor. However, after several recounts and several votes suddenly being "found" in heavily Democrat King County, Gregoire was ruled the winner after all. After a while, Rossi decided to concede the election rather than put the state through a divisive contest as to whom was legitimately elected, even though polls showed that voters tended to side with Rossi. The defeated Republican received plaudits for his action and few doubted that he would be back for another round in '08.

The expected rematch is once again very close. Gregoire has been a fairly popular Governor and the politics of the state do favor Democrats. However, for whatever reason, she has been unable to put her Republican opponent away. The most recent Rasmussen poll from October puts both candidates at 48 percent. The previous two months saw the candidates see-saw the lead in that particular poll. Most other polling companies have also shown a very close race.

Right now, it looks like this contest could go either way. It could come down to state and local issues, or Gregoire could benefit from an expected Obama victory in the state. Rossi has been noted for officially identifying his campaign as "GOP", (which he has done before) rather than the formal Republican Party designation.

If I had to guess, I would say that the race would once again be close, but because she is a Democrat, Gregoire probably has to have a slight edge. She was running several points ahead in the polls four years ago and nearly lost when the votes were counted though. This year, Republicans might continue to be wary that if she is behind on Election Night, that her friends in King County might not find a way to put her across the finish line nonetheless.

Rossi campaign link:

2008 Governor races predicted: 5 D, 5 R
Predicted Gubernatorial total thus far: 27 D, 22 R


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