jayinslee.jpg
Jay Inslee's campaign is very close to uncorking the champagne. Perhaps they started sipping the bubbly last night. For all intents and purposes, this looks

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It Seems Clear Now: Jay Inslee Is Washington's Next Governor

jayinslee.jpg
Jay Inslee's campaign is very close to uncorking the champagne. Perhaps they started sipping the bubbly last night. For all intents and purposes, this looks over and done with.

Rob McKenna's operatives desperately hoped against all hope that late-voters would break for their man, but that just isn't happening and probably won't.

The former eight-term Democratic congressman, in fact, increased his lead last night, upping his ballot bounty by an additional 10,000 votes, while holding firm to a 51.1 to 48.9 percent advantage.

With 2.4 million ballots in the bag and only 590,000-plus left to be tallied, it looks as though Jay and wife Trudi can start measuring for curtains in the governor's mansion in Olympia.

McKenna's path to victory is as remote as Mitt Romney's was after Florida stalled and Virginia fell election night.

For McKenna to win, he'll have to draw to an inside straight, as the Republican attorney general would need to capture a minimum of 56 percent of the remaining ballots. The odds of that occurring, we figure, range from slim to none.

McKenna campaign manager Randy Pepple was betting hard that Clark, Pierce and Spokane counties would come to the rescue, with McKenna garnering bigger percentages than he did election night, and thereby compensate for the historic obstacles which statewide-running Republicans invariably confront in vote-rich, Democratic-centric King County.

Well, that's not proving to be the case.

As of this morning, there's just 105,000 combined ballots to register in those three counties where McKenna is leading Inslee, though it's sure to go up slightly when more votes trickle in, votes that must be postmarked before midnight Nov. 6.

The Cascade Curtain continues to divide the state in vivid shades of Eastern Red and Western Blue.

Indeed, Inslee will likely prevail by winning just 7 of the state's 39 counties.

And so it goes. Democrats are poised to hold on to the state house which they've held for 28 years and make Jay Inslee Washington's 23rd governor.

You can almost hear those corks popping.

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