Skip to main content

Washington state (WA)

Sorry Vermont, sorry Massachusetts, sorry Hawaii...Washington state (WA) has you all beat! And California?....your California wine may be more world renowned than Washington wines but your progressive politics can't even compare!  

This past election with President Obama easily carrying the state 56% to 41% and with the passing of marriage equality and the legalization of marijuana has given, the State of Washington a rightful claim to the title of America's Bluest State.

Let's start of with a few trivia questions:

Question 1) Which state was the first state to vote in FAVOR of Pro-LGBT anything in a statewide referendum?

  -- Yep! guessed it. That would be WA.  We've all read the countless news stories this past month about the states that passed marriage equality (WA included) on November 6.  But the precursor to gay marriage approval in WA a month ago was in 2009 when a legislatively passed domestic partnership bill went for approval and PASSED in a statewide referendum by a vote of 53% to 47%.  This is actually marked the first time LGBTs were affirmed in a statewide referendum in any type of way.  Washington state passed gay marriage this year with an even wider margin: 54% to 46%.

Question 2) Which state is the first state to have a Woman governor and two women U.S. Senators serving concurrently?

 -- Yep! guessed it.  That would be WA.  That is according to this link:

2004. Washington is the first state to have a female governor and two female US Senators serving concurrently.
For the past 8 years WA has been headed by a woman governor, Christine Gregoire, and two women senators, Sen. Patty Murray and Sen. Maria Cantwell.  I would also add that in 1976, Washington was the second state to elect a woman governor...Dixie Lee Ray.

Question 3) Which state has the nation's longest consecutive string of electing Democratic governors?

 -- Yep! guessed it.  That would be WA.

With the recent election of Jay Inslee, the state has been electing Democratic governors since 1984.  A Republican has not been elected governor since 1980.

In comparison, one might reasonably ask what Washington state has on Vermont, which many would consider the Bluest? For starters, a recent Gallup survey of America's most liberal and conservative states showed that 26% of WA residents self-described themselves as "liberal" as opposed to 24% of Vermont residents who described themselves as libersl.  And clearly Washington state has Vermont beat on demographics.  Washington state has the racial diversity that Vermont can only dream of.  As much as I love driving through Vermont in the Fall, I have to say it's a very lily White state at 97% according to Wikipedia.  Compare that to Washington:

According to the 2010 United States census, the racial and ethnic composition of Washington was the following:[30]
 White: 77.3% (Non-Hispanic Whites: 72.5%)
 Black or African American: 3.6%
 Native American: 1.5%
 Asian: 7.2% (1.4% Chinese, 1.4% Filipino, 1.0% Vietnamese, 0.9% Korean, 0.9% Indian, 0.5% Japanese, 0.3% Cambodian, 0.1% Laotian, 0.1% Thai)
 Pacific Islander: 0.6% (0.2% Samoan, 0.1% Guamanian, 0.1% Hawaiian)
 Two or more races: 4.7%
 Hispanic or Latino (of any race): 11.2%
What about Massachusetts? Well Massachusetts just recently went through a 16 year period of Republican governors (Mitt Romney included)! And let's go back to gay marriage.  It passed in Washington by the legislature and affirmed by referendum.  Massachusetts' was handed down by the Courts. And as a general rule, most surveys will list Washington state as being more environmentally friendly than Massachusetts (not to say that Mass isn't friendly!).

And what about California? Forget it! You voted on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage and you failed in your attempts to legal marijuana by referendum two years ago!

I think I've made a pretty clear and convincing case that WASHINGTON, not Vermont or Massachusetts or California, is America's most liberal, most progressive and most BLUE state.


* Democratic Presidential candidates have carried the state since 1988

* A Forbes 2007 survey listed Washington at #3 in its ranking of the "Greenest states" after #1. Vermont and #2. Oregon.

* Democrats have controlled both houses of the state legislature for most of the past 30 years

* Most surveys will the City of Seattle at the top or near the top of rankings of America's most liberal cities.


Which state is America's bluest state?

47%74 votes
16%26 votes
5%9 votes
3%6 votes
7%12 votes
5%8 votes
5%9 votes
7%11 votes

| 156 votes | Vote | Results

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  going back a bit, remember that MA was the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mikeymike68, akze29

    ONLY state to vote for McGovern against Nixon, leading to the classic Watergate era bumper stickers:

                      Nixon 49, America 1
    Not disputing Washington's progressive leadership at all, but as to MA electing republican governors, first, that was all before teabaggerness raised its hate-filled head.

    Second, we have plenty of political corruption in the Dem party here. Several consecutive House Speakers have been convicted of same. Thus, there is a basis for distrusting sole control by one party. With the new, hate-filled repubs, however, not so much. And Scott Brown's race-baiting and anti-affirmative action dog whistles got him - the poster boy for "bipartisanship" - unelected.

    Fear is the mind-killer - Frank Herbert, Dune

    by p gorden lippy on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 08:10:59 AM PST

  •  If not for the travesty of Bob Ehrlich (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Maryland would have had a chain of Democratic governors since Spiro Agnew resigned to become vice president in 1969.

  •  WA also had women Speaker & Majority Leader-- (0+ / 0-)

    for a while: Lynn Kessler [Speaker until 2010], Lisa Brown, Senate Leader until 2010.  ALL top seats held by women!  great.

    My best guess was a reflection that did not look back, an image lost in every mirror.

    by Zacapoet on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 09:52:28 AM PST

  •  Washington Love (5+ / 0-)

    I do love how those of us who live here are totally head-over-heels in love with our state.  It's kind of endearing.  But, really, we need to learn to be a bit more humble and stop rubbing it in everyone's faces that we're the most blessed paradise on earth.  I suspect that's why God gave us the Mariners, to remind us to be humble.  ;)

    Seriously, do you WANT more people to move here?  Shhhhhh!!!

  •  Not so fast (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ybruti, akze29, grover

    Wash only had a D governor two elections ago by about 100 votes, after a recount.

    The churchy Tea Partiers are still strong around Vancouver, one of the larger cities, and re-sent an R to Congress there.

    A few years ago the born-aginners wrote in a reactionary candidate who defeated an incumbent D for Congress.

    Our battle isn't over yet.

    •  Linda Smith (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The reactionary write-in congressional candidate you are referring to is Linda Smith in the 3rd District. She was a write-in for the Republican primary and won the general.  But 4 years later she had the gall to challenge Patty Muray for her U.S. Senate seat and she got TROUNCED by over 20 points.

      As far as the 2004 governor's race that was decided by 100 votes.  That was a year when Bush was re-elected and the state Republicans put up their brightest, most exciting, most promising political stars, Dino Rossi, against the one of the state's dullest most uninspiring Democratic politicians in Christine Gregoire. And the Republicans STILL could not win the governorship. In a 2008 rematch, Rossi still lost Gregoire. And when Rossi challenged Patty Murray for senate seat 2010 (a Tea Party year!), Rossi lost again!

      Republicans still have trouble winning when they put up their best.

      •  I'm still shocked (0+ / 0-)

        by what Linda Smith did.  She knocked off a nice lady Democrat whom we never suspected was in trouble, but whom was perceived to be anti-gun.

        As I recollect, the original annointed R candidate was a crook and had to withdraw.

  •  Not to mention Greener! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Recycling, restoring Salmon runs, Hydro-electric power and coffee.

  •  Let's not forget that Maryland (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mikeymike68, akze29

    not only legalized gay this year, we also resoundingly passed the Dream Act to give undocumented kids instate tuition. And Gov. O'Malley is looking to push a death penalty repeal through the legislature in 2013.

  •  I agree. Your diary cooresponds with a diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mikeymike68, Mulkum, SlowNomad

    I recently wrote which calls our state, a Progressive leader, because it is!!! Thank God. Washington State rocks!!!

  •  Which state just passed by a 2:1 margin an (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    initiative requiring a two-thirds majority in the legislature to raise taxes? Washington!

    Which state has been short-changing its public schools so long its Supreme Court ordered it to come up with over a billion dollars to meet adequate funding of K-12 public education, yet just saw an election in which both the successful Dem and the Republican running for governor vowed not to raise taxes? Washington!

    Which state has an outgoing Democratic female governor who has balanced budgets by cutting services to the most needy and higher ed rather than raising taxes? Washington!

  •  Vermont has a senator (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that openly runs as a SOCIALIST and wins by a landslide and you want to get into a "My Progressive Epeen Is Bigger Then Yours" fight with the Green Mountain state?

    And you bring up marriage equality against the first state EVER to recognize civil unions back in 2000 and the first state to legalize it by law without a court-order back in 2009 and it passed so well it never even MADE IT to a popular referendum?

    and and Liberal Arts education?  The very idea of "electives" came from the University of Vermont.

    No one is dissing Washington, but I mean, c'mon.....

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 12:09:50 PM PST

    •  WA education is sadly underfunded, (0+ / 0-)

      From pre-K to the state universities and  highly acclaimed UW.

      Communities that can afford to levy themselves constantly to keep their schools as some of the very best in the nation --even just plain ole middle class neighborhoods do this, not just wealthy ones. It seems we have bonds and levies on the ballot every single election. And we always pass them. My neighbors and I just say to each other: well, they're our schools. We have to.

      But the ones that can't? Well, they can't afford it.

      © grover

      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 01:24:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  But there is trouble in paradise (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Washington State is a wonderful place for all the things you mentioned.  But it should also be noted that all is not perfect in paradise.  

    The liberal tide in Washington is driven by a concentration of urban population on Puget Sound surrounding Seattle, Tacoma and Everett.  The rest of the state about 23 out of 39 counties voted for the other guy.  Washington has interesting geography in the form of a huge mountain range that divides the state into Western and Eastern Washington. And along that range is our political divide as the following election result maps show.

    chipoliwog's WAELECT album on Photobucket
    Our legislature while ostensibly in Democratic control, is in reality stalemated by a coalition of conservative Democrats and Republicans.  We have a regressive tax structure that relies heavily on sales taxes.  It is one of only a few states with  NO State Income tax .  

    --United Citizens defeated Citizens United...This time. --

    by chipoliwog on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 12:19:44 PM PST

  •  I think that you have made a compelling case but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    it's hard not to overlook the beautiful state of Hawaii.

    The Rainbow State came in at an impressive 70.6% of the popular vote for President Obama. Yes, I know, they have voted for Republican governors but nobody is perfect.

    Only the District of Columbia could boast a bigger tally at 91.4% of the vote for our prez.

    It takes time to practice generosity, but being generous is the best use of our time. - Thich Nhat Hanh.

    by Frank In WA on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 12:55:06 PM PST

  •  Roe (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Lest we forget, WA put Roe V. Wade, but a more liberal version, into the state constitution by referendum many years ago. Lest we get too cocky, cross the Cascades and you are in Mississippi.

    •  NOT that bad! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Eastern Washington isn't that bad.  Whitman County, bordering Idaho and home to Washington State Univeristy, actually voted in favor of marriage equality 51% to 49%.

      •  Well, there are two different things going on (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:


        In WA, there's something I like to call the Frontier Spirit. Basically, it's that sense of independent, leave me alone; I'll leave you alone. And let's not create any more government than is necessary.

        We don't require gun registration. We don't have "real" DMV offices for vehicle registration like most states but have delegated it down to agencies. Our legislature is part time. For years and years, my drivers license was a flimsy piece of laminated cardboard, much like my high school ID, even when most states were using the credit card type of license. We don't have an income tax. Many state parks charged nothing and many still have virtually no staff.

        And we're one of the least religious, least church-going states in the union.

        So given all this, I'm not at all surprised that marriage equality passed east of the mountains. Unlike folks down south who claim to believe in smaller government, many/most WA conservatives really do believe smaller government is best.

        I think it's because we're way out here, and have pretty much done things our way.

        © grover

        So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

        by grover on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 01:44:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  WA is purple. (0+ / 0-)

    Seattle tips it blue. But leave Seattle, as you must do to win the other Congressional districts and many of those are tight races every two years.

    Even places that reliably send Dems to the state house and senate also reliably send Republicans to county council.

    And most of those Dems aren't far left-leaners in any event. They moderate well.

    Bellevue, Everett, Lynnwood, Mercer Island, all the cities immediately surrounding Seattle are reddish. The further you go, the redder you get.

    It's just that Seattle is so populated.

    I think that taking the blueness of WA state for granted is something we do at our peril. At the height of the recession, those tall downtown commercial buildings started to empty out. Workers left because for many people affording downtown rent or mortgage is incredibly difficult without a matching salary. Elections got tighter.

    I think we're wise to take nothing for granted. The other side of the lake, the other side of the mountains did not vote for Jay Inslee. One good year is one good year. That's all it is.

    © grover

    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

    by grover on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 01:14:16 PM PST

    •  Actually...8 election cycles in a row (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Democrats have won the governership for 8 elections in a row and the Democratic presidential candidate has won 7 elections in a row.

      Also Seattle-Tacoma is not the only deep blue area of of the state.  San Juan County voted 72% for Obama, Jefferson County voted 65% Obama, and Thurston, Snohomish, and Whatcom counties gave Obama healthy 15-20 point margins of victory.

      •  And you know the margin by which Chris (0+ / 0-)

        Won her elections right?

        And the margins by which Maria won hers? And how hard we worked and how much money was spent for Patty to defeat Dino Rossi?

        In politics, wins and losses are all that ultimately matter, but for those of us in the trenches -- which I have been for years-- those wins matter because of what was put into earning every single vote.

        We didn't earn every one of those votes by thinking WA is the bluest of all states.

        Ask Chris Gregoire is it is. Ask Jay Inslee if it is. Ask Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray if it is. Heck, ask the marriage equality folks.

        You just can't look at results alone and draw conclusions. If WA were so blue, we wouldn't have to work so hard for what we have. We have a good state Dem party and good volunteers. But none of  this is a foregone conclusion.

        © grover

        So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

        by grover on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 02:35:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  the strength of the state party (0+ / 0-)

          After Cantwell’s first election in 2000 it’s been easy sailing for her every election since. It was easy sailing in Washington for both Obama’s election & re-election and Clinton’s election & re-election.  Patty Murray has had pretty easy sailing in all of her senate elections up until her 2010, which she survived a banner Republican year.  As far as the close elections involving Christine Gregoire, Jay Inslee, and Al Gore in 2000 it is because of the fact that Washington is a deep blue state that mediocre and/or uninspiring candidates were able to hang on.  If this was any other state Gregoire and Inslee would have lost and George W. would have carried the state in 2000 in a three-way battle involving Gore and Ralph Nader. The strength of the state’s Democratic establishment was able to rescue these mediocre candidates.

          •  Oh really? (0+ / 0-)

            Jay Inslee was my congressman for years. Other than his vote on Patriot Act immediately after 9/11,  he's a true progressive. He railed against FISA on the floor of the Capitol. He always voted  to support women, the environment, PWD,,minorities and others who need a voice in Congres. He's one of the best voices for progressivism we have.

            Keep your  misguided "WA is blue" narrative.  I'll stick with the good reliable progressives like Inslee, Gregoire, etc that have made WA such an extraordinary place to live.  

            © grover

            So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

            by grover on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 04:37:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  you totally misswd my point (0+ / 0-)

              Didn't say they weren't solid progressive policy makers.  Justthat as politicians they evoked maybe 10% of the personal charisma and excitement of say a Clinton, an Obama or a Christie.

              I'm sorry but Jay just didn't light my fire. Voted for him anyways.

  •  More Washington trivia (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Washington has the highest minimum wage of any state, $9.04, which will rise to $9.19 on 1/1/13.  Annual cost-of-living increases since 1999, required by a 1998 voter initiative that received a 66% Yes vote. Tips received are on top of the minimum, not counted against it.
    On the other hand, some not-so-blue history: WA elected a Republican Secretary of State again this year, as in every election back to 1964 (!). Fortunately, her predecessors mostly worked to make it easy to vote, not for voter suppression; let's hope that tradition continues.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site