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Trail Mix — November 29, 2012 

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Only Two More Stages To Go

Everyone who voted for Al Gore and John Kerry and had to endure eight years of George W. Bush knows exactly how the Republican faithful are feeling right now. It’s tough. It helps to think about it like the five stages of grief. You’ve already had Denial — remember on Election Night when you were sure something fishy must have happened in Ohio? That’s exactly what Kerry was thinking in 2004. And then you had the Anger — it was all Karl Rove’s fault!

But before you get to Depression and Acceptance, you need to get past Bargaining. For Red States this time around, the third stage seems centered on the idea of just seceding from the Union. Brilliant!

This plan is gaining traction among some Tea Party types in Texas — a state that was once a sovereign nation. Maybe this dose of reality will help get you to Acceptance sooner: Without the reliably red 34 electoral votes Texas contributes every four years, the Republican Party’s prospects in what’s left of the United States would be even more dire.

Buck up, fellow Americans — you’ll get through it! Half of America knows that if you do, you can turn things around.

Final Check of the Numbers

While we don’t yet have final numbers, the Washington Secretary of State estimated there were just about 2,400 ballots to be hand-counted as of Monday. In the end, Jay Inslee won by less than three percentage points — close, but nowhere near Chris Gregoire’s 129-vote victory over Dino Rossi in 2004. And John Spellman’s big win in the Year of Reagan (1980) remains the last time a Republican won the Washington governor’s office.

In Spokane County, late tallies nudged Michael Baumgartner ahead of Maria Cantwell in his home county — by just 336 votes. A storyline on Election Night was that he couldn’t carry his home county, but in fact he did.

And Mitt Romney’s haul in Spokane County was tepid by Eastern Washington standards: He won 51 percent of the local vote, while most regional counties gave him 60 percent or more. (In Whitman County, however, Romney failed to even clear 50 percent.)

Guess This is Goodbye

We started down this trail — this column we like to call “Trail Mix” — on Dec. 29 last year, offering up “our compendium of all things campaigny.” This week, we’re hanging up the hiking boots and putting this space back into general commentary service. We hope you enjoyed it!

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, no, “campaigny” is not an actual word.

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