If the New York Times is right and "Washington is the new Florida" in terms of importance to U.S. Senate control, then King County may be the new Miami-Dade, says a new post on Publicola. Republicans are expected to pick up seats in North Dakota, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Arkansas, Indiana, Colorado, and Nevada, which would bring the GOP to 49 Senate seats--one away from the magic middle number of 50. And with 1.1 million registered voters (30 percent of the state's vote), King County is likely to be the linchpin that decides Washington's Senate representation, if not the country's Senate dynamic.
One would assume that if the Senate race comes down to King County, Democratic incumbent Sen. Patty Murray would be the shoo-in. It may not be that simple, though. As Publicola notes, Murray not only needs to win in King County, she needs to win big.
Republican challenger Dino Rossi is polling better than Murray in most of the rest of the state.
King County turned out in droves for Barack Obama in 2008, handing him a victory with 70 percent of the vote. But this year, the much ballyhooed "enthusiasm gap" favors Republicans. And with a lack of wedge issues for progressives (I-1098 isn't polling well, and is more or less the only progressive initiative on the ballot) it may spell a lackluster turnout and a reluctance for Dems to toe the strict party line.
Whatever the case, it'll be a close one. Not just for Washingtonians, but for Americans as a whole.