June 18, 2004


Bush Spends a Long Day (and Night) on the Trail (ELISABETH BUMILLER, 6/18/04, NY Times)

President Bush swooped into Spokane on Thursday night to raise $750,000 for Representative George Nethercutt, the Republican who is challenging Senator Patty Murray for a seat in a politically competitive state important to Mr. Bush's re-election chances in November. [...]

Mr. Bush included in his speech a lengthy quotation from a 1946 New York Times article describing the occupation of postwar Germany, some two years before the Marshall Plan began pouring billions of dollars into what became a successful reconstruction.

"In every military headquarters, one meets alarmed officials doing their best to deal with the consequences of an occupation policy that they admit has failed," Mr. Bush read aloud from the article.

The lesson for Iraq, he said, was optimism.

"Fortunately, my predecessors were not pessimistic people," Mr. Bush said, adding that "someday an American president will be sitting discussing world peace with a duly elected leader from Iraq."

On Friday, Mr. Bush is to appear at stops in Fort Lewis, Wash., and Reno, Nev., Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, who ran a bitter race against Mr. Bush in the 2000 presidential primaries.

Washington is one of the Senate seats they'll pick up if this race gets ugly enough in the Fall--current economic numbers suggest it'll be coyote ugly.

State's voters split on 2004 Presidential race (Seattle Biz Journal, 6/18/04)

The early stages of the presidential race is a dead heat in Washington, with 44 percent of Washington residents supporting President George Bush and 45 percent saying they would vote for Democrat challenger Sen. John Kerry, according to a poll by Moore Information, a public-opinion research firm based in Portland, Ore.

Four percent of the respondents supported third-party candidate Ralph Nader, while the remaining 7 percent of voters were undecided.

Moore Information surveyed 500 Washington voters between June 9 and June 11. The poll's sampling error margin is plus or minus 4 percent, making the polling results for Bush and Kerry too close to call.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 18, 2004 10:22 AM

"important to Mr. Bush's reelection chances in November"
Didn't WA go for Gore in 2000 (I believe by 6 pts)? So isn't it necessary for Kerry to hold this state rather than Bush having to win it?
As for the Senate race a close or normal Bush win probably means Nethercutt loses by about 5pts, a strong Bush win should push Nethercutt past Murray.

Posted by: AWW at June 18, 2004 10:56 AM

Kerry's been dumping a lot of TV money into the Seattle market, which signifies bad polls to me since AWW is right, he should carry Washington easily in a close election. It really depends on the turnout in Pugetopolis and the size of any Bush tailwind.

Nethercutt being from Eastern Washington is another negative. We haven't had a statewide winner from the 'dry' side for a long time due to the 7-2 population imbalance. And (outside of her Osama comments) 'the-mom-in-tennis-shoes' tends to fly below the media radar, offering a tough target (i.e. low negatives).

Posted by: TimF at June 18, 2004 11:56 AM

This fall there's also a governor election here in the Upper Left Washington. Gary Locke is retiring, and his would be Dem replacements are trying to find way to implode. As far as I can tell, this time the GOP has realized that being united around one candidate that can win is better than fighting over whose ideological rigidity gets to lose by the greater margin.

I've noticed that both Kerry and Bush are running ads during the parts of the Mariner games I can tolerate. If this really was Kerry country, neither should be doing that.

Both of our Senators have mastered "laying low" as a reelection technique. It's normally a smart strategy, as it assumes that the status quo will carry the day. But as was pointed out above, it also makes Patty the Dummy dependent on Kerry not depressing turnout at the same time the GOP fires up its forces, especially in the east. I figure if Patty suddenly starts publicly campaigning, her people have concluded that she has to counteract the undertow Kerry is generating or else she'll lose.

But I'm still hoping for a triple come November. (No home run, as my congresscritter is still gonna be the useless Jay Inslee.)

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at June 18, 2004 12:37 PM


Me too, since I doubt Rick Larsen (WA 2nd) is in significant danger either, though the 2nd is more of a swing district than the 1st.

The two school initiatives (adding 1% to the sales tax and repealing charter schools) as well as the primary initiative (if it qualifies) might add to the dynamics as well.

For those interested, here's a pretty good summary of WA-state politics by Jim Miller from 2002 (scroll about 1/2 way down):

Washington State Election Stakes

Posted by: TimF at June 18, 2004 4:24 PM

Thanks. I'll have more to say on Washington politics as the campaigns develop.

Washington's 1st, where I live, was once a classic swing district. John Miller (R) (who is no releation) held it with narrow margins until he retired. Maria Cantwell (D), now senator, won it in 1992. Rick White (R) won it in 1994. Jay Inslee (D) took it from him in 1998.

The right Republican (a moderate technophile woman would be perfect) could win the district back, but Inslee has had enough time to make it difficult. One big problem. You have to advertise in the Seattle market to reach the district, which is terribly expensive.

Posted by: Jim Miller at June 19, 2004 8:01 AM

You're welcome Jim. I find your blog writing interesting.

OK, let's try the link again:

Washington State Election Stakes

or if I mess up again copy and paste on your own:


Posted by: TimF at June 20, 2004 1:27 PM