Unlike most of my Seattle Weekly brethren who were out partying like a reanimated John Belushi in the streets of Seattle last night, yours truly volunteered to head over to the Republican election party over in Kemper Freemanville at the Bellevue Hyatt.
And to save everyone time, here's a quick rundown of all of the speeches last night. Every GOP candidate thanked their family, supporters and volunteers who gave so much of their time and energy. The race is still too close to call and we all need to wait until all the votes are counted later this week. Oh, and Rob McKenna mentioned his Gangnam Style dance video.But what was newsworthy to this reporter was not the canned stump speeches of the candidates but the general dispassionate indifference of the crowd. Nearly half of the notes I took from last night were about the apathy of the Republican audience. Here are some examples.
6:45 Not much reaction over Scott Brown defeat in Massachusetts. (Brown was the poster child of the Tea Party victories in 2010)
George Allen going down in Virginia. Crowd more concerned FoxNews isn't on big screens.
8:14 CBS calls Ohio for Obama. Nothing.
8:18 CNN calls election for Obama. Smattering of boos. Damper on crowd.
8:28 Inslee up now up in the polls. Crowd thinning.
8:29 Rats are deserting the ship.
As much as the GOP wanted to defeat Barack Obama this election, it doesn't look like that many of them were that emotionally invested in Mitt Romney as a person or as a candidate. Last night in Bellevue, 500 Republicans collectively shrugged their shoulders, tossed off what was left of their drinks and beat the traffic for home.
Clinging to the Wreckage
Republican Rob McKenna is currently down two percent with last night's ballot count. Speaking with some of his higher-echelon staffers before the results came out, this is exactly where they expected to be one day in. Call it spin or call it wishful thinking, but the campaign's internal polling showed later voters breaking toward the Bellevue Republican. This will be the narrative for the next news cycle.
Three-time runner-up Dino Rossi was co-hosting a radio show on 570 KVI with fellow gubernatorial silver medalist John Carlson last night. Chatting with him briefly, in between station breaks, he seemed less optimistic about the chances of McKenna, who is now garnering just 37 percent of the vote in King County. Rossi said to have any sort of a chance, that number has to be closer to 40 percent.