Wednesday, November 08, 2006

"Too close to call"

Darcy Burner for Congress:
The highly contested race in Washington’s 8th Congressional district promises to be every bit the nail biter that pundits have predicted.

The early returns indicate that turnout in WA-08 may reach record highs - turnout was only about 46% in 2002. Nearly 85% of ballots are expected to be cast by mail. King County will likely process more than 125,000 absentee ballots in the coming days.

Darcy Burner, the Democratic challenger to Congressman Dave Reichert, turned the race into one of the most competitive in the nation and returns show that Burner also succeeded in making it the closest race in the history of the 8th district. The most recent returns indicate that Reichert’s lead was fewer than 3,000 votes.

"This race is far from decided. Both our field numbers and poll numbers told us that this race will likely be decided by a couple thousand voters," commented Zach Silk, Burner’s campaign manager. "We’re feeling cautiously optimistic, but with so many ballots left to be counted, we likely won’t know definitively who wins this race for some time."

Washington is known for tight races whose outcomes aren’t finalized until several weeks after Election Day. Recent examples:

* Governor Christine Gregoire won by 142 votes in 2004, and her race wasn’t certified until January 11, 2005.
* Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) won by only 2,229 votes in her 2000 bid against then-Senator Slade Gorton.

"We’ll all be holding tight over the next few days," continued Silk. "We expect to see the results fluctuate as absentee ballots are counted, and we are prepared to wait out the waves."


* We are down slightly as of midnight Election Day, but this is expected because the current vote includes a disproportionate number of Pierce County votes (our least favorable area).
* We are outperforming Dave Ross (2004’s Democratic nominee) in both Pierce and King Counties.
* There are upwards of 150,000 ballots left to count. The lion’s share of those votes are King County absentees.


* We still believe this will be a very, very close election.
* We remain cautiously optimistic given that the remaining absentees favor Darcy.
* It is likely we will have to wait until Friday or next week for a clearer sense of the outcome.
* We will work to make sure every valid vote is counted.

Thank you for everything you have done. You’ve been part of history in Washington’s 8th Congressional District - more supporters, more volunteers and more votes than any Democrat ever. Thank you!

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