With the presidential primary heating up, and the governor’s race starting to pick up steam, few folks interested in health policy are watching the 2011 election. This year, local elected officials, from hospital districts to the county council, are on the ballot. The normal legislative elections occur on “even” years – 2012, 2010, etc. – with the local races on odd years.
But if you talk to the big money donors that fund gubernatorial elections, they are watching this year very closely.
The reason is that often local races can serve as an indicator of the mood for the electorate, much in the way a poll can. So, while Jay Inslee and Rob McKenna aren’t on the ballot this year, there may be trends that appear this fall that can grow with the infusion of resources in 2012. (more…)