November 18, 2004


Rossi apparent winner in governor's race; recount next (Rebecca Cook, 11/17/04, The Associated Press)

Republican Dino Rossi's tiny lead over Democrat Christine Gregoire in the closest governor's race in Washington state history triggered an automatic recount today.

Rossi held a 261-vote lead — out of 2.8 million ballots cast — after counties reported their final tallies to the state.

"Making history isn't easy," Rossi said, flashing a wide smile as he spoke to reporters outside his Bellevue campaign headquarters tonight.

Gregoire agreed the night was historic — "Not the kind of history I had in mind on Nov. 2." She said she believes the recount will declare her the ultimate winner, calling tonight's results a "virtual tie."

State law requires an automatic recount when the margin of victory is less than 2,000 votes. In the past 40 years, no statewide recount has reversed the election outcome — but there's also never been a governor's race this close before.

Another Republican victory directly attributable to evangelicals, Evangelize the Vote: Meet the conservative Christian pastor who spearheaded the Bush voter registration campaign in Washington. (Nina Shapiro, 11/17/04, Seattle Weekly)
Walking into Pastor Joseph Fuiten's sprawling Cedar Park Assembly of God church, on a wooded 46-acre plot in Bothell, one can still see a sign of the election—a box holding voter registration forms, emblazoned with a red, white, and blue logo: "For Faith, Freedom and Family: Vote!"

The pastor coordinated the Bush campaign's state effort to mobilize "social"—read Christian—conservatives and heads a right-wing lobbying group called Washington Evangelicals for Responsible Government (WERG). During the election season, the pastor sent 2,700 such voter registration boxes to churches across the state, netting what he estimates to be 45,000 to 90,000 new voters. Those are huge numbers that are impossible to verify; he says they come from a sample survey of churches that received the boxes. But Republicans and churches are convinced that something important happened among evangelicals locally in this election, just as evangelicals and the "moral values" that concerned them played a pivotal role nationally. "In my 24 years in politics, it's the most organized I've ever seen evangelical churches," says state Republican Party Chair Chris Vance. He says at many churches there were election coordinators registering voters and then urging them to the polls.

Various local church leaders and religious conservative organizations, including Pastor Ken Hutcherson at Antioch Bible Church and a relatively low-key state chapter of the Christian Coalition, mounted get-out-the-vote efforts this year. Fuiten, though, is seen as driving the new Christian conservative vote. Leah Yoon, a spokesperson for the state's Bush campaign, now based in New York, credits the pastor with being "single-handedly responsible" for voter turnout among local religious conservatives and calls him "the go-to guy" for this constituency.

Vance exclaims, "Now we've seen what he was able to deliver." He adds that Fuiten is "probably the most active person among evangelical conservatives in the state." Indeed, not widely known outside evangelical circles before, Fuiten has suddenly emerged as perhaps the leading figure of the local religious right.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 18, 2004 8:27 AM

A 261 vote win is attributable to anything you care to name, including a traffic jam on I-5.

Posted by: David Cohen at November 18, 2004 8:50 AM

People in traffic jams are Republicans--they're talk radio's audience.

Posted by: oj at November 18, 2004 9:06 AM


Posted by: David Cohen at November 18, 2004 9:11 AM

The traffic jam can't have helped Rossi, luckily the evangelicals had his back

Posted by: oj at November 18, 2004 9:18 AM

I think the margin would have been higher, except the ferry was on time that day.

Posted by: ratbert at November 18, 2004 10:28 AM

I saw a tv news piece on the Libertarian candidate who received over 50,000 votes - approximately 2.25% of the total. The reporter claimed that the candidate had cost Gregoire the election by siphoning off votes. I had assumed libertarians generally took votes from Republicans. After a quick look at the numbers, the Lib percentage of votes was slightly less in King County (2.2%) than in the state overall and Gregoire carried the county by 154,000 votes. The only issue mentioned in the report was the Lib candidates support for gay marriage. Dino may still lose this race. I have to ask, who do my fellow brothersjudd poster feel are most affected by Libertarian Party voters?

Posted by: Pat H at November 18, 2004 11:18 AM

Pat H.
Nationwide libertarians take the overwhelming number of votes from Republicans, but in Washington State the campaign could be completely different, because of issues like gay marriage. So I can't answer your question. duh

"Secretary of State Sam Reed, a "Republican" who will oversee the recount"

heh, heh how can we lose.

Posted by: h-man at November 18, 2004 11:24 AM

It was the Libertarians who took credit /were blamed Cantwell's defeat of Gorton four years ago.

If there had been a Green candidate, you'd probably see an inverse coorelation between their results and that of the Libertarian.

And actually, Sam Reed is one of those non-partisan eficient-managment type Republicans, which is how he manages to win in this state.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at November 18, 2004 12:34 PM

I had a conversation with a very well connected lobbyist in Olympia. He told me he is very confident that Dino will hold a lead after the recount. He said the Lib candidate was pro-gay rights and very green and hurt Gregoire more than Rossi. How can a libertarian be green? Only in Washington, I guess. Finally, when there was a recount in the Senatorial election featuring Cantwell versus Gorton, Cantwell, the Democrat, picked up 266 votes. It isn't over.

Posted by: Pat H at November 18, 2004 12:53 PM

How many people here remember the ad campaign from which OJ cribbed his post's title? I had to think for a bit...

Posted by: Bruce Cleaver at November 19, 2004 12:25 PM



Posted by: oj at November 19, 2004 12:36 PM
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