Today, that wait -- and it is an interminable one for the candidate and his staff -- yielded another batch of ballots and another, what has to be, little dollop of disappointment. McKenna cut ever so slightly into Jay Inslee's lead this evening. Inslee now leads McKenna 51.1 percent to 48.9 percent. Yes, it's getting closer. This race is not over yet, not by a long shot.
In vote-rich King County, the graveyard of Republicans running statewide, Inslee showed some erosion -- falling from 62.9 percent tallied on Election night returns to 62.7 percent. As of this morning, with just over 2.1 million votes cast statewide, Inslee leads McKenna by 49,000 votes.
Though no considerable gains were made the second day of what can go on for at least a week or more in the only state in the entire U.S. of A that hasn't come close to finalizing its results (call your legislator!!; every one knows it's insane, the way we vote in this nutty state), the McKenna camp remains optimistic that they will pull this out.
McKenna's campaign manager Randy Pepple, a savvy political operative for more than two decades in Washington, told the Daily Weekly today that their internal tracking polls shows that those who mailed their ballot a day or two ago, or on Election Day, breaking for McKenna by a 2-1 margin.
"What we need is to get up to 38 or 38.5 percent in King, and then increase our margins in Pierce, Clark and Spokane counties, and close the gap in Snohomish," Pepple said. McKenna did show a small gap-closing bump in Snohomish County in this evening's count.
Inslee, the former eight-term congressman, is ahead in just 9 of the state's 39 counties, but carrying them usually is all it takes to win a statewide race -- just ask Maria Cantwell in 2000, and Christine Gregoire in 2004.