It may not have been full of surprises, but yesterday's primary did set up some popcorn-worthy fights for November. Over in District 36, long held by Ballard Rep. Helen Sommers, Reuven Carlyle and John Burbank are battling it out 41 to 42 percent, according to the most recent results posted at 1:09 a.m. Lands Commissioner Doug Sutherland is holding onto a razor-thin 50 to 49-percent lead over Okanogan rancher Peter Goldmark (no doubt boosted by Sutherland's little sexual harassment issue the dailies chose to overlook). And Gov. Chris Gregoire and Republican Dino Rossi are gearing up to give the people another nail-biter. Though there were still lots of mail-in votes yet to count, the incumbent Democrat was only ahead by 4 percentage points early this morning. The other 2004 sequel, Darcy Burner vs. Rep. Dave Reichert, is also shaping up as expected. So far Reichert's got 46 to Burner's 44 percent. Strangely, Reichert was nowhere to be found on the airwaves last night, apparently "unavailable for interview," while Burner was all over the place. Message to Darcy: talking slow and deliberately is one way to make the female voice sound more commanding-- overdoing it makes you sound more kindergarten teacher than legislator.
In the not-so-close column, Attorney General Rob McKenna had a comfortable 11-point lead over Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg this morning, prompting the challenger to blast his "Top 10" questions for the incumbent, including: Who do you think McGruff the Crime Dog would support in this race? Seriously?
Hard to say, however, how much of a predictor the primary will ultimately be for the fall. Turnout, of course, is critical and yesterday's-- despite Sam Reed's ever lofty predictions-- was dismal. Appears to be about 24 percent. (Though this number will go up some as it doesn't reflect the roughly 20 percent of the ballots that remain to be counted.) Democrats will no doubt get an Obama bump, but will how far down the ticket will it travel?