Saturday, November 07, 2009

Thoughts on the Failure of I-1033

As I sit here on Saturday, I-1033 is only 15 votes away from failing in Okanogan County.

North Central Washington, the heart of Conservative country, where the best government is less government, Okanogan County may end up failing Tim Eyman's latest anti-tax initiative.

That's incredible. It's even more incredible when you look at the rest of the map:

Look east of the Cascade Curtain. Lincoln, Adams, Whitman, Spokane, Garfield, Asotin, Columbia, Walla Walla, Benton, and Yakima Counties all rejected I-1033, and if an Eyman initiative can't win there it can't win anywhere.

Statewide, it could have been worse. As Goldy has pointed out, the dramatic undervote in King County means that tens of thousands more "no" votes could have gone untallied, which would almost be enough to push 1033 below the 40% passing threshhold where only the very worst initiatives dwell. 63 more votes, and Mason County would be yellow on that map--it only passed there with 50.17% voting yes. It's also below 51% approval in Grant, Chelan, and Chelan Counties, and in only 1 of 39 counties (Klickitat!) did it break 60%.

That's why I find commentaries like this from Red County to really strain credulity, because when that many voters from that many diverse portions of the state decide that an initiative is a bad idea, I think it's fairly obvious that the idea failed on the merits. Implying that voters were stupid or mislead or partisan hacks really doesn't work in Davenport, or Asotin, or Yakima, or St. John--it's applying the King County slur to rural Washington, and is that really the direction that the state GOP wants to run in?

Tim will be back, I'm sure, but this is nothing else than a total defeat.


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