Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Lessons From the Election

1)  The 3rd Legislative District, in Downtown Spokane, was thought to potentially be in play after redistricting.  When Lisa Brown retired and turned it into a contest between Representative Andy Billig and City Council Member Nancy McLaughlin, that created a real benchmark that the 3rd hadn't seen in years, between high profile candidates from both parties, a real contest in the 3rd LD.

Except that it wasn't.  McLaughlin only got 42% of the vote, and I think it's going to be a long, long time before you see a Republican of any sort of profile try it again.

2)  If Rob McKenna can't win the Governorship in this climate, with his profile and credentials, against that opposition, then there's no reason not to believe that the Democrats won't hold the Governor's office for another 26 years.

3)  From my viewpoint, as someone who really likes education politics, McKenna made two really big mistakes.  The first was in treating Race to the Top like it mattered, and like it was worth winning, but the bigger mistake was embracing a Local Levy Swap that he didn't really understand and that gave Jay Inslee the opportunity to take away McKenna's high ground on taxes and school funding.  McKenna eventually had to go into a bit of a retreat and get arm distance from an idea that he had made a keystone of his school funding program ("It's not my idea!", he said on Robert Mak's program), but the damage had already been done.

4)  Cheryl Pflug went to bed smiling last night.

5)  If the King County results trend towards Kathleen Drew, and she overtakes Kim Wyman for Secretary of State, that will be the biggest damned travesty of the entire cycle.  Wyman is clearly more qualified and has better credentials, and the only way that I could see that someone would look at the two candidates and vote for Drew is if they put more stock in party affiliation than anything else.

6)  If Kim Wyman does lose, here's the reason why:



It isn't fair to smear Wyman with that voter suppression brush, but the entire GOP brand was hurt this cycle by the exact sort of nonsense in that video.  The Washington Policy Center at least tries to message it in terms of election security; those Republicans who won't even bother with the pretense are toxic.

7)  The Gumpian Genius of Jay Inslee.  In early spring I thought McKenna had already won, because Jay looked like crap after he resigned his seat in Congress, and the campaign was just plain awful.

And then he won the primary, convincingly, and it was off to the races.  He was slow and steady, implacable when McKenna was sometimes manic, and stuck to his themes.  In a political environment where Scott Walker has some profile, the "You don't know the real Rob McKenna" ads hurt.  The one tying him to the Tea Party was a lie, but an effective one.  All glory and honor to Team Inslee, because they were masterful.

8)  Ya coulda won that thing, JL.

9)  Say what you will about Gingrich or Santorum, but they had a core and they were willing to stick to it.  Mitt didn't.  If you try to be all things to all people, you'll be nobody to anyone.

10)  About 5 months until the filing deadline for 2013!

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