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Spin Control

Wed., Nov. 3, 2010, 7:21 a.m.

Both sides in Senate race ‘figure’ on a win

Patty Murray and Dino Rossi both think the numbers are on their side for a win in Washington's close U.S. Senate race.

Republican challenger Rossi's campaign released a statement late Tuesday night citing his favorite statistics that would make the race go his way. Among them are that Republicans usually gain a couple percent in ballots counted after election day and that he's doing very well in Spokane County, which still expects to count large numbers of ballots.

Democratic incumbent Murray's campaign countered just after midnight with a different analysis, noting that King County, where she was polling about 62 percent of the vote, may have as many as 350,000 votes left to count.

As morning dawns Wednesday, they are separated by about 14,000 votes, or 1 percent of those counted so far. New numbers won't be rolling in until this afternoon. To borrow a phrase from Bette Davis, Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy ride.

To read the full analyses, go inside the blog.

O:                             Interested Parties

FROM:                       Pat Shortridge, campaign manager, Rossi for Senate

DATE:                        Tuesday, November 02, 2010


RE:                             Early Ballot Counts in Washington State


This evening’s returns indicate this election is as close as many predicted, in that it is too close to call.  A few points to remember as you examine returns:


·       Historically in Washington, the Republican candidates improve their percentages in each county in votes counted after Election Day, usually improving their margins by 2 to 3 percentage points.


·       King County, which is providing most of Sen. Murray’s margin, accounts for 30.7% of all registered voters in the state.  According to County Election reports, King County only has 26.7% of the remaining ballots left to count.  The rest of the state, where Rossi has a comfortable lead, will count proportionately more ballots post-Election Day. 


·       Spokane County, where Rossi is currently in the lead by more than 50%, still has at least 21.6% of the remaining ballots left to process, with more coming in.


·       Rossi is currently leading in Pierce County by nearly 2,500 votes


·       According to the Secretary of State, there are still over 508,000 estimated ballots left to process statewide.

Again, we will know more over the next several days as ballots continue to come in and counties continue to count.  We are confident that the margins we are seeing throughout Washington State, combined with the state legislative victories, will put Dino Rossi ahead by an overwhelming margin. 


TO:                        Interested Parties
FROM:                  Jeff Bjornstad, Campaign Manager, People for Patty Murray
DATE:                    November 2, 2010
RE:                         The State of the Washington State Senate Race



With partial returns tallied in Washington state, Senator Patty Murray is well-poised to win her fourth term to the U.S. Senate.  After the first day of counting, Senator Murray is in the lead.  The as yet uncounted ballots in King County are the key factor in determining the outcome in this race.

The Returns So Far

Tonight, all counties reported partial returns based on ballots received prior to November 2nd.   In the most populous county, Senator Patty Murray has a 62% to 38% lead based on the first count.  King County has yet to count more than 150,000 votes that had been received as of today.  Further ballots will be received over coming days.  Based on historic numbers, more than 100,000 votes will be received on Wednesday alone, with tens of thousands more to come in on subsequent days.

King County election officials predict that final turnout will be approximately 68% equaling a total of about 720,000 votes (likely a conservative estimate).  At this point only 370,000 have been counted.  That leaves 350,000 votes in King County uncounted.

Projected Results

Based on the Tuesday night count, it is very likely the remaining outstanding King County ballots will continue to overwhelmingly favor Murray.  That – coupled with her lead in other counties – will only increase her statewide vote total. 

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The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.