Sunday, November 07, 2010

Jonathan Raban: "Those Damned Seattle Liberals!"

Jonathan Raban (NY Review of Books):
The local rule of thumb is that a Republican running for the US Senate or the governor’s office must break 40 percent in King County, where close to a third of all voters in the state live. When, on election night, the early-ballot returns showed her winning in King County by 62 percent to Rossi’s 38 percent, Democrats here went to bed confident that she’d keep her seat. Rossi’s loss, despite his carrying thirty-seven out of forty-five counties, rather justifies the old cry from east of the mountains and the dying logging- and mill-towns on the Olympic Peninsula, that once again an election has been fatally skewed by the usual suspects, those damned Seattle liberals.
So far (and touching wood for Larsen’s victory), Washington has been lightly scathed by the gale of anti-Democrat, anti-Obama loathing that has swept the US heartland but seems to have lost much of its force as it reached the West Coast, and was felt here as little more than an uncomfortably stiff breeze. Nor has there been any sign here of the “enthusiasm gap”: statewide turnout, estimated on election day as roughly 66 percent, is now said to be likely to rival, or even cap, the 72 percent record for a midterm election, set in 1970. MORE...

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