Inslee With Very Strong Primary Numbers

Tuesday’s Primary Election numbers in the governor’s race bode very well for the Inslee campaign.  In fact, these numbers appear to be much stronger for Inslee than many predicted:  46.77% to 42.93%.

Here’s what the numbers mean.

  • King County:  McKenna’s name ID there and decades of service at the state and local level largely disappeared.  The numbers – 58.5% to 35.4 – suggest there will be little of the eastside firewall that the McKenna campaign has banked on.  In November, with Obama on the ballot with a gay marriage initiative, this percentage spread will not likely diminish.  And, with the increase in voters from King County, more voters – at that spread – will mean far more votes overall for Inslee.
  • Clark & Spokane Counties:  Both of these counties went pretty strongly for McKenna.  The Inslee folks didn’t appear to run any TV in Clark County, and had a relatively small media buy in Spokane.  So, this would suggest some potential erosion of the McKenna win there in the General if the Inslee campaign runs TV significantly there – very likely in Spokane, though questionable in Clark (given that the broadcast buy is the Portland metro market).
  • Western WA:  The peninsula counties of Pacific, Grays Harbor, and Jefferson were all somewhat of a surprise.  In recent close statewide races – 2000 Senate, 2004 Governor – those counties were very much in play.  Here, they went decidedly for Inslee.  Hard to know whether that will hold moving into the General, but given the blue collar roots of the area, the Inslee jobs message was likely well rec’d.  Hard to see how that gets undermined assuming the Inslee message stays the same.
  • 7 Also Rans:  In total, there were 9 candidates for Governor:  2 Democrats, 3 independents, and 4 Republicans.  Add the votes up by partisan affiliation and you get the following:  Dem: 50.77%,  Rep: 46.58%,  Ind: 2.64%.  50% is the magic number in a primary.  If your candidate is over 50%, it’s a very, very good sign for the general.  That isn’t the case here for Inslee, but that the combined Democratic vote is over 50% is a very good sign for the Inslee folks.

In sum, these numbers are very good for Inslee.  But here’s the thing:

In a race that was expected to be tight, this demonstrates the strength of Inslee’s candidacy beyond the Democratic floor from tighter recent statewide races.

The full vote breakdown can be found here.