Continuing the series of diaries I started yesterday, dissecting day-to-day changes in vote-counting in the Washington Senate race, I report here on the results from yesterday.
Before digging into the numbers, though, I draw your attention to the attached poll, wherein I ask for your preferences regarding a diary schedule. Not that I actually expect this series to run for nearly as long as did my last Washington election series (WA-Gov, 2004).
My executive summary of November 3 is succinct -- Patty ROCKED!
UPDATE: Today, Patty's rocking even stronger in King County than she did yesterday!
Updated vote tallies were reported to the Secretary of State yesterday by 23 of our 39 counties. Overall, 198,301 additional votes were recorded, with the by-county additions ranging from 468 in Pend Oreille County to 50,016 in King County.
Patty Murray, our incumbent Democrat, pulled down 105,880 of those votes, 53.4% of the day's total. That's far better than the 50.5% she had at the end of Election Day. Patty's improved outcome wasn't limited to the Democratic core counties; in fact, she did better on Wednesday than on Tuesday in 18 of those 23 counties.
Moreover, the counties where she underperformed Tuesday comprised only 17.0% of the day's ballots, dominated by Spokane County, where the 23,218 new votes comprised 11.7% of the day's total. Murray's Wednesday percentage (compared to Tuesday) fell by more than two percent in only Cowlitz County -- 47.7% on Tuesday, 45.5% on Wednesday, 5195 new ballots -- and Pend Oreille County -- 37.9% Tuesday, 35.5% Wednesday, 468 new votes.
In sharp distinction, Patty's percentages were appreciably higher on Wednesday in quite a few counties, topped by Klickitat County. Oh, she only took in 49.9% of the county's 808 new ballots, but her prior result had been way down at 40.3%. IOW, Murray outperformed Tuesday by over 9.5% in Klickitat. Lest you pooh-pooh these numbers, I remind you that there are only 12,415 registered voters in Klickitat, so those newly-tallied ballots represent 6.5% of its electorate.
While slimy Dino Rossi fell further behind by smaller proportions in other counties, their overall effect on the result was much greater than Klickitat's. A few examples, sorted in descending order of improvement percentage, with each line displaying [county: Tuesday percentage --> Wednesday percentage, percent change, new-vote count]:
- San Juan: 63.6% --> 72.9%, +9.3%, 915
- Whatcom: 50.2% --> 57.5%, +7.3%, 6373
- Island: 48.6% --> 54.4%, +5.8%, 2977
- King: 62.0% --> 66.9%, +4.9%, 50,016
- Thurston: 55.6% --> 58.7%, +3.1%, 14,217
- Kitsap: 50.0% --> 52.7%, +2.7%, 7663
The last of those was included mainly because Wednesday's results flipped it on the
SoS's map from a "Rossi county" (by 38 votes) to a "Murray county" (by 375). And a very special shout-out to the great Democrats sprinkled across the San Juan Islands.
As the Secretary of State calculates it, the number of remaining untallied ballots in the counties increased by 12.2%. Recall that Washington considers mailed ballots postmarked on Election Day to be valid, and many legitimate ballots were received by the counties on Wednesday (and will continue to be received for days and days). Nearly all of that increase was observed in the Puget Sound counties, led by light blue Snohomish and deep blue King.
Based solely on the Secretary of State's counts as of Wednesday night, my projected outcome of the Senate race comes to 50.9% Murray, 49.1% Rossi, up from yesterday's 50.3%-49.7% projection.
That projection, I assert, is appreciably lower for Patty than what we'll eventually see. As I suggested yesterday, the SoS numbers don't accurately estimate the untallied ballots ... and there are many more unaccounted-for ballots in the Democratic counties than in the Republican ones. Even if Patty's performance in King County reverts to its Tuesday percentage, the sheer volume of votes in the state's largest county will further extend her margin. And King County is reporting that it is seeing record-high turnout. As they exult in a Wednesday press release (emphasis added),
"It always makes us happy to see a high level of voter turnout," said Sherril Huff, Elections Director. "With over 145,000 ballots arriving in the mail today alone, this election tested our ability to deal with record volumes of mail and I'm very pleased to say that we successfully got the job done."
Elections originally predicted a 68 percent voter turnout in King County, but has already seen a return of over 71 percent. This includes about 57,000 ballots returned on Election Day to ballot drop boxes throughout the county.
Using a vastly more sophisticated approach than mine (not that that's much of an accomplishment), Matt Barreto of the Washington Poll currently forecasts a 51.4%-48.6% outcome, and he'll likely update his numbers over the next few days.
To me, today's tallies will probably be the most interesting of the entire election. Will the Murray surge, fueled perhaps by Democratic GOTV in the last week, continue? If it does, will Patty's coattails be strong enough to carry along Rick Larsen in WA-02 (he edged ahead of his tea-hadist opponent after yesterday's tallies)? Will her coattails preserve a few Democratic state legislators whose races are equally close?
This election is far closer than it would have been in a year even slightly resembling normality. But the breathless stories in the MSM, suggesting that the sleazy failed banker and close associate of felons still might win this thing, is utterly ridiculous. This one was over when Patty led after the Tuesday night ballot drops. Dino can pretend that he still has a chance, but he should have his concession speech ready to go. He'll need it soon.