Monday, August 16, 2010

Washington Baselines: Murray v. Rossi

 Until Chris Christie was elected, New Jersey was the state where Republicans were Charlie Brown trying to kick the football from Lucy. The Republicans kept nominating candidates there who kept losing. Finally in 2009, they nominated Christie who beat Corzine. Since Christie was elected, he has run his approval ratings to the ground, especially among teachers and other people who value education. The Christie debacle is another story for another post. This post will focus on the other state where Republicans keep attempting to kick the football. Washington State is that state. Interestingly, Washington and New Jersey voted 53% and 57% for the Democratic Presidential nominee in 2004 and 2008 respectively. Washington State was a big state for Republican gains in 1994 where an 8-1 Democratic delegation turned into a 7-2 Republican delegation. Now the delegation is at 6-3 Democratic. Since 1994 though, Republicans have not been winning too many statewide races. Democrats hold the Governorship and both Senate seats. The holders of these seats are interestingly all woman, the only state with the Governorship and both Senate seats held by women. Republicans could not beat the Senators Patti Murray (D) in 2004 and Maria Cantwell (D) in 2006. Still, Republicans have come dangerously close to winning. In 2004, a certain "moderate" Republican named Dino Rossi almost beat Christine Greigoire (D) for the Governorship but lost after a lengthy recount. He returned for a rematch in 2008 but lost by 6 points. Republicans now believe he is their candidate who can grab Murray's seat.

With the anti incumbent climate, Murray is facing a close race with Dino Rossi. He did lose one advantage in the general election though. In 2004, he was able to eat into Greigoire's margin in King County (Seattle) because he was moderate. Now he is more conservative so he can win the teabagger wing of the party. This is important for him because Washington has an interesting way of conducting elections. Instead of holding primaries for each party, the state has a jungle primary. This means that any Republican or Democrat can run in the election. If no one gets 50% or more of the vote, the top two vote getters will face each other in a runoff. If Rossi cannot win the teabaggers' approval, a teabagger may jump into the race. Most polls show Murray leading Rossi in the jungle primary but she is not winning 50% of the vote yet. Still, other polls show her winning the runoff. This will be a close election so I have here a map of the baselines for the runoff assuming it happens. This map shows how the counties will vote if the candidates tied (actually, my vote count had Rossi winning by 72 votes but a lead that small out of almost 2 million votes is close enough.) I found the baseline percentages by adding the percentages by county from the 2008 Presidential, 2004 Senatorial and 2004 Gubernatorial elections. I then divided by three. For the votes, I had turnout be 65% of the 2008 level. I used the 2008 Presidential election for current trends, the 2004 Senatorial election for Murray and the 2004 Gubernatorial election for Rossi. First, you will see a map of the baselines, then a list of the counties and their votes. Next, you will see a list of the regions which are Seattle & Vicinity, Coastal Washington and Eastern Washington. Enough chatter about baselines, here is the map (click for a better view:)

 

Dark Red: Rossi 65% +
Red: Rossi 55%-64%
Light Red: Rossi 50%-54%
Light Blue: Murray 50%-54%
Blue: Murray 55%-64%
Dark Blue: Murray 65%+

Here is a better quality map of Washington: http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/maps/washington_map.html

List of counties:

County Names Murray Rossi Percentages


Adams 853 2,305 27%-73%

Asotin 2,416 3,941 38%-62%

Benton 14,301 33,369 30%-70%

Chelan 7,568 13,337 36%-64%

Clallam 11,142 13,896 45%-55%

Clark 53,080 66,470 44%-56%

Columbia 415 1,052 28%-72%

Cowlitz 14,377 15,206 49%-51%

Douglas 3,178 6,754 32%-68%

Ferry 848 1,450 37%-63%

Franklin 4,027 8,839 31%-69%

Garfield 237 655 27%-73%

Grant 5,226 12,735 29%-71%

Grays Harbor 9,580 9,390 51%-49%

Island 12,414 14,990 45%-55%

Jefferson 7,690 5,389 59%-41%

King 366,136 236,061 61%-39%

Kitsap 39,653 41,604 49%-51%

Kittitas 4,545 7,140 39%-61%

Klickitat 2,821 3,785 43%-57%

Lewis 7,251 15,478 32%-68%

Lincoln 1,152 2,753 30%-70%

Mason 8,840 9,692 48%-52%

Okanogan 4,173 6,879 38%-62%

Pacific 3,672 3,513 51%-49%

Pend Oreille 1,640 2,653 38%-62%

Pierce 103,807 111,561 48%-52%

San Juan 4,245 2,635 62%-38%

Skagit 16,819 19,745 46%-54%

Skamina 1,634 1,934 46%-54%

Snohomish 104,923 104,505 50%-50%

Spokane 61,628 82,026 43%-57%

Stevens 4,904 9,780 33%-67%

Thurston 44,051 38,752 53%-47%

Wahkiakum 672 825 45%-55%

Walla Walla 5,805 10,365 36%-64%

Whatcom 33,054 32,530 50%-50%

Whitman 4,984 6,448 44%-56%

Yakima 17,919 31,310 36%-64%

Total 991,680 991,752 50%-50%

Here is how the baselines break down regionally:
Seattle & Vicinity
Counties   Murray Rossi

King 366,136  236,061 61%-39%

Snohomish 104,923  104,505 50%-50%

Pierce 103,807  111,561 48%-52%

Kitsap 39,653  41,604 49%-51%

Thurston 44,051  38,752 53%-47%

Total 658,570  532,483 55%-45%


Coastal Washington Murray Rossi


Whatcom 33,054 32,530 50%-50%

Skagit 16,819 19,745 46%-54%

San Juan 4,245 2,635 62%-38%

Island 12,414 14,990 45%-55%

Clallam 11,142 13,896 45%-55%

Jefferson 7,690 5,389 59%-41%

Mason 8,840 9,692 48%-52%

Grays Harbor 9,580 9,390 51%-49%

Pacific 3,672 3,513 51%-49%

Lewis 7,251 15,478 32%-68%

Wahkiakum 672 825 45%-55%

Cowlitz 14,377 15,206 49%-51%

Clark 53,080 66,470 44%-56%

Skamina 1,634 1,934 46%-54%

Total 184,470 211,693 47%-53%

Rest of the State

            Murray Rossi
Total 148,640 247,576 38%-62%

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