The Obama-Rossi voter lives. I've written before about this mysterious phenomenon, and I received several e-mails asking where the proof was. Well, here it is. According to Tuesday's SurveyUSA poll, 18- to 34-year-old voters 'êÂ i.e., the youth vote 'êÂ "overwhelmingly prefer Obama to Republican John McCain, 59 percent to 39 percent ... for governor, the same voters preferred Rossi almost as much: 58 percent to 41 percent." Another poll conducted by the University of Washington over the weekend also said young voters seem to prefer Rossi (and Obama) by large margins. Will it be enough to swing the election to Rossi? We'll see on Nov. 5.
Or not. Because Washington state voters aren't required to postmark absentee ballots until election day, we may not know who the next governor will be until several days after Nov. 4. P-I investigative reporter Daniel Lathrop has crunched the numbers on the ballots already received by elections officials. He says it doesn't look good for Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire:
A Seattle P-I analysis of voting returns in Washington shows that increased turnout in Republican-dominated counties gives Rossi an edge and that Gregoire needs to either improve her margins or achieve nearly universal participation in the Democratic stronghold of King County to win.
Still, state Democrats say they aren't worried. They think Gregoire may trail Rossi by as much as 4 percent after Tuesday's election night returns, but hope in the days following the election Gregoire will pull out a victory.
Right to die: In today's edition of the P-I, columnist Joel Connelly made his final plea for voters to reject Initiative 1000, the ballot measure that would legalize physician-assisted suicide in Washington state. The reason voters will approve I-1000, Connelly says, is partly due to "a secular media that bought the anti-Catholic propaganda line while accepting gauzy descriptions of Oregon's assisted suicide law." Dan Savage at the Stranger says Connelly's argument that Washington voters somehow enjoy "bashing Catholics" is ridiculous. He writes, satirically:
I'êm going to strike a blow against anti-Catholic bigotry in Washington state and cast my ballot in the governor'ês race for the Catholic candidate. That would be Christine Gregoire, Catholic'ê¦ or, um, Dino Rossi, also Catholic. And then I'êm going to put a call into the office of the Attorney General for Washington state and ask Rob McKenna (Catholic) to launch an investigation. And then I'êm going to write a letter to both of my U.S. Senators'êMaria Cantell (Catholic) and Patty Murray (Catholic)'êand ask them to hold hearings. If we all work together we can root out this anti-Catholic bias on the part of Washington state voters!
Right to red light cameras: The latest Washington poll suggests Initiative 985, Tim Eyman's traffic "congestion relief measure," may be in big trouble. The poll says 55 percent of voters oppose the measure, while only 40 percent support it. ...
Right to endorse: The editorial staff at the Everett Herald explains why it doesn't endorse presidential candidates:
'Our forte is local news,' editorial page editor Bob Bolerjack said Wednesday, adding that the board met with close to 60 people before making endorsements for other offices and ballot measures this year. 'We have no more access when it comes to national issues than my next door neighbor. Our mission is local, and that's where we can do the best job,' he said.
Rites of fall: Political reporter Jeff Mapes at The Oregonian unveils his top 10 list of things to watch on election night. Gregoire v. Rossi is number five. ...
Finally, here's a complete recap of the 2008 presidential election in just a few minutes.
Update: Sound Politics blogger Stefan Sharkansky disagrees with my assertion that we may not know who will win the governorship on Nov. 4 due to the state's requirement for voters to postmark ballots by election day. He says:
You are correct that voters aren't required to postmark their mail ballots until election day. And you are correct that we may not (=probably won't) know the outcome of various races for several days. But it is not correct to imply that the former is the most significant cause of the latter. The main problem is the fact that it takes so long to process mail ballots, period. The current infrastructure has limited capacity. Even if all the ballots were on hand on election day, there would be such a huge backlog which would take several days to work through.
Basically, Sharkansky thinks the real reason we won't know the results until after election day, among other things, is King County's "antiquated infrastructure" for dealing with mail-in ballots. Polling places, he argues, are much more efficient. You can read more here.