Dust is settling on gubernatorial primary -- what does it all mean?
No surprise that Rob Mckenna, Republican, and Jay Inslee, Democrat, will be wrestling for the governor's seat through the fall.
But the real question is what do those primary results mean? In the first day's returns, Inslee edged McKenna, 47 percent to 43, in a race that was cluttered with much less-serious candidates. Does that mean Inslee has the edge? Was a recent Elway Poll showing Inslee had made up earlier deficits to surpass the earlier frontrunner McKenna right on the mark? Is Inslee winning over state voters?
Hard to say, especially considering the unusual nature of this earlier-than-ever primary. Turnout has been disappointing. Including not just the ballots counted Tuesday but also those county auditors say they have on hand yet to count, voter turnout stands at about 27.5 percent, according to the Secretary of State's office. More ballots of course will come in in the next few days. Still, considering the many high profile, hotly contested races, Secretary of State Sam Reed suggested the turnout might be as high as 46 percent. Maybe voters were too focused on the beautiful sunny weather to get those ballots in the mail.
But, as for Inslee's apparent edge in the governor's race, something else might be afoot. Erik Smith at Washington State Wire wrote Tuesday about an unusual strategy by the McKenna campaign to let Inslee's TV ads that started about a month ago go unanswered for about two weeks.
McKenna has some ads on TV, but he's managed to spend much less, saving that fire power for the general election, Randy Pepple, McKenna's campaign manager told Smith.
Make no mistake, there will be no holding back in the general election for either campaign. Anyone watching even a little TV will likely have their fill of both candidates, not to mention candidates in those several other hot races come November.
Achenblog by Joel Achenbach
Postman On Politics