Pin It
Favorite

Forecast: Drought 

The Washington state GOP bet all its hopes on Rossi ... and lost.

click to enlarge art15921.jpg

If King County didn’t exist, [Dino] Rossi would be senator. But then, without King County, Washington would be Idaho.
— Jim Brunner
The Seattle Times
Nov. 5, 2010

One of the most striking things about the recent midterm elections is how much the national storyline of a Tea Party takeover did not apply on the West Coast. The GOP pretty much whiffed in Washington, Oregon and California.

While the Tea Party and voter anger seemed to drive elections in places like Minnesota and Kentucky, voters on the left coast stuck with old friends like Patty Murray, Ron Wyden and Dianne Feinstein.

It’s odder still when you see one of those maps that depicts the Republican votes in red and the Dem tallies in blue. Washington and Oregon look like vast seas of red with just a couple of small blue splotches. As Jim Brunner put it, without King County, Dino Rossi would be senator. They said the same thing in Oregon, where Portland overruled the rest of the state and barely put John Kitzhaber in the governor’s office.

But look closer: The map offers a different insight. Maybe it’s not right and left that divides us, but rural and urban. The big seas of red are where fewer people live, spread farther apart; the specks of blue represent tight spaces with people tucked tightly together. Just as the great Seattle and Portland metro areas drive the economies of their states, they seem to be driving the politics, too.

It’s got to be frustrating for the state GOP to have such an immovable force to reckon with. But even though his sell-by date as a candidate may have finally expired, Dino Rossi was their best bet. A statewide Tea Party candidate would have flopped.

But running a two-time loser in an all-in gambit has hamstrung the party’s future in Washington. Rossi left no heir apparent. In fact, it’s hard to imagine a state with a less robust batch of Republican statewide office holders. Yes, there is Attorney General Rob McKenna (the likely nominee for governor in the next race), but beyond that the cupboard is bare.

Perhaps uniquely in the entire nation, Washington somehow looks even tougher for Republicans after the 2010 vote. So, Washington GOP, your mission, should you choose to accept it: Find capable leaders who can pass muster enough in blue-blooded King County while pumping up the excitement out here among these crimson waves of grain.

  • Pin It

Speaking of Common Ground

  • Big Sky Stories
  • Big Sky Stories

    As Montana goes, so might go the rest of the nation in the Big Money 2012 election.
    • Aug 24, 2011
  • Indelible Day
  • Indelible Day

    A Fourth of July dispatch from the nation's capitol.
    • Jul 6, 2011
  • The Fourth Day
  • The Fourth Day

    What if the Confederacy had won the Battle of Gettysburg?
    • Jun 29, 2011
  • More »

Latest in Comment

  • Children Will Listen
  • Children Will Listen

    How art speaks to life in this particular moment
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • So Here We Are
  • So Here We Are

    Here's hoping the new president fills the office with the grace and sense of tradition it requires
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • Get Big Money Out
  • Get Big Money Out

    Letters to the Editor
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • More »

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Today | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed
Women's March on Spokane

Women's March on Spokane @ Spokane Convention Center

Sat., Jan. 21, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Ted S. McGregor Jr.

  • The Watch List
  • The Watch List

    You'll learn a lot by watching some key people who could make or break Trump's presidency
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • Fake-News Nightmare
  • Fake-News Nightmare

    The social media dream of the 2000s is fading, but we can reset the system by sticking up for the truth
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • BOOKS
  • BOOKS

    From Twin Peaks to the darkest reaches of our galaxy, there's a new book for everyone on your list
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Thanks, Obama

    The legacy of the 44th President goes far beyond the election of the 45th
    • Dec 29, 2016
  • One Free Shave

    Donald Trump might have merited a honeymoon with voters had he managed his transition better
    • Dec 29, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

scandal


scandals


Comment


Briefs


green zone


Readers also liked…

© 2017 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation