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Eye On Olympia

Governor’s race maps and Eastern Washington…

Catching up...

My colleague Jim Camden has worked his political-mapping skills and come up with a couple of graphics in the governor's race.

The upshot: the late-arriving ballots have been tilting slightly to Republicans.

"Dino Rossi has been gaining a bit of ground in the gubernatorial vote tally as the primary count continues," writes Camden. "His percentages are getting bigger east of the Cascades, while incumbent Chris Gregoire's percentages are getting smaller in most Western Washington Counties.

Here's a map of how the two candidates are doing, by county.

Here's a map of how the two did in the 2004 race in which Gregoire edged out Rossi.

Although the primary-to-general-election comparison is a little apples-to-oranges, the governor still looked strong in the Western Washington area, getting more votes in several counties that she lost in 2004. She also got 26,689 votes (as of this morning) more than Rossi in the primary. (Rossi's campaign argues that primary turnout favored Republicans by several percent.)

Meanwhile, at, Brian Bissell writes from Denver that DNC chairman Howard Dean stopped by the Washington delegation Monday for a pep talk that included marching orders: turn out Democrats in Eastern Washington.

How? The old fashioned way: by knocking on doors repeatedly and making a personal connection that outweighs conservative talk radio.

Dean "said that Washington Democrats needed `to begin to build [their] base in rural Washington. You have an immediate dividend. Every extra vote you get out in Eastern Washington is a vote for Chris Gregoire. It is a long term benefit as well. These people haven't voted for a Democrat in a long time. As soon as you get these folks to think about voting for a Democrat again, they start t consider voting for state legislature candidates. That is how you turn the country blue,'" reports Bissell, continuing to quote Dean: "`We are going to turn Eastern Washington blue.'"

Short takes and breaking news from the Washington Legislature and the state capital.