Primary Results are In

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The WA "primary" results are mostly in. There's lots of positive news for conservatives and Republicans.

At the top of the ticket is Rob McKenna for governor, who came is currently a mere 3.5 percentage points behind Jay Inslee, 43.28 to 46.78. Adding in the other Republican and Democrat candidates, the lead is cut to 2.5 points, although Inslee is then at about 50 percent. Of course, you can't a. assume that the votes for the other candidates will translate into votes for the same-party candidate, and b. you can't assume turnout will be proportional in November. So the best we can say is that it looks really close.

Most of the statewide offices have significant leads by Democrats. While it would be nice to see Kim Wyman win Secretary of State, she has a tough road ahead. If she can get enough of an audience, she could convince them that she has much more experience and would be a better official than Kathleen Drew, a partisan who supports "repeal" of a Supreme Court decision that said, simply, that citizens, or associations of citizens, cannot be fined or jailed for simply engaging in political speech. (It's weird and scary that someone who wants to be an elected official would hold such a view.)

James Watkins, Republican running for State Auditor, has strong prospects for November. He pulled in 46% of the vote (more than any statewide Republican this primary), perhaps due in part to some of the great bipartisan endorsements he's received (and, I think, people generally like to have some Republicans around as checks on the Democrats).

For Senate, it will be an uphill climb for Michael Baumgartner (R) to unseat Maria Cantwell (D). And none of the other federal races with incumbents look close, either. In WA-6, vacated by Norm Dicks, Bill Driscoll (one of several Republicans) got only 18% of the vote, and Derek Kilmer (the only Democrat), who pulled in 53%. Similarly, in the new WA-10, Denny Heck (one of two Democrats) with 40% will be facing Dick Muri (one of two Republicans) with 28%. In both, there's so many votes going to so many candidates, we just can't tell much.

John Koster -- hopefully, my next congressman -- blew away the competition in WA-1, almost as badly as Kilmer did in WA-6. He increased his tally from 43.3% to 45.07% since election night, and has substantially more votes than the next three candidates combined. Of course, only the next candidate matters: and that will be Democrat Suzan DelBene, with 22.64% of the vote. However, there were five Democratic candidates, and if you combine their total vote, you end up with 52.97%; adding the one Independent, Larry Ishmael (who has run multiple times in this district as a Republican) to Koster gives him 47.03%. But again, the assumption that all of those extra votes will go to DelBene and Koster is unwarranted (in fact, we have seen in various polls of head-to-head races that some people voting for Democrat candidates like Steve Hobbs would not have voted for DelBene or the other Democrats). Again, just way too close to call.

Koster and DelBene will also face off in a separate race: the special election to finish the aforementioned Inslee's seat, since he infamously quit several months back. But in that race -- being for a WA-1 with very different boundaries -- Koster gained only 35.75% of the vote. Democratic candidates accounted for more than 60% of the total votes cast. We could have Congresswoman DelBene for a month, followed by Congressman Koster for two years. Blame Inslee for the confusion and weirdness.

Returning for another round is Richard Sanders, who has an apparent top-two finish for Position 9 on the Supreme Court. Hopefully the civil rights champion can win his seat back.

In my 10th Legislative District, it was gratifying seeing Rep. Barbara Bailey (R) open up 5.5 percentage point lead on Senate mainstay Mary Margaret Haugen (D). Running for Bailey's soon-to-be-vacant seat is Dave Hayes (R) who holds a slim lead over Tom Riggs (D), 51% to 49%. But incumbent Rep. Norma Smith has a whopping 59% of the vote.

My old 39th LD looks even better, with Rep. Kirk Pearson (R) running for Val Stevens' Senate seat, and beating perennial Democrat challenger Scott Olson by 14 points; incumbent Rep. Dan Kristiansen (R) up by 10 points; and the combined votes of the Republican candidates for Pearson's seat garnering about 58% of the vote, led by Elizabeth Scott. She'll be facing off against Democrat Eleanor Walters.

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