There is a new poll in the right column. I see someone has
already voted in it.
Speaking of surveys, an earlier post referred to
survey work done by Republican Bill Driscoll, running to replace
Democrat Norm Dicks in the 6th Congressional District. His campaign
didn’t release the questions, but sent a fundraising pitch
suggesting the polls show he has a shot.
Another poll with a pretty huge sample size (40 percent) was the
2012 Primary. In that one state Sen. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor,
polled about as well as anyone might have expected. Out of seven
candidates he pulled in 53.4 percent of the votes. Sure, Kilmer was
the only Democrat. But for Driscoll to have the shot he thinks he
has, he has to hope the anti-Barack Obama sentiment in the 6th
District is overwhelming, that Mitt Romney manages to have people
excited by November and that people get to know Driscoll by then,
too. And not just get to know him, to like him more than they like
It’s not impossible, and turnout for the primary was low. But
you also can’t assume that those for whom Jesse Young or Doug Cloud
was the first choice will automatically go with Driscoll in the
general election. Most will, but the question will be whether there
would be enough. Recent electoral history suggests Kilmer’s
percentages in the general election might even go up from where
they ended in the primary.
Driscoll is campaigning as a “Non-Politician.” It’s one of the
titles on his website, between “Marine Corps
Veteran” and “Businessman.” Running as an outsider can work
sometimes, when the general public is mad at the incumbents. The
public was mad at Congressional incumbents in 2006 and in 2010.
They probably will be again in 2014.
In this race there are no incumbents. The Democratic candidate,
though, has a political record. Unfortunately for Driscoll,
Kilmer’s record is not as polarizing as, say, Nancy Pelosi.
On Monday Kilmer was recognized by a Tacoma company that makes
residential wood boilers. They acknowledged Kilmer for his help in
getting regulatory prohibitions against those boilers removed.
Washington had been the only state where wood boilers couldn’t be
sold. The result of Kilmer’s efforts with state regulators, said
Greenwood Clean Energy’s president, Michael Kuehner, was the
company took work that had been occurring in Canada and Mexico and
brought it to Washington. That’s 16 jobs, with an outlook for
double that, according to the press release Kilmer’s campaign sent
Over the next three months, look for Kilmer to repeat that
story, and the one about the theater and apartment development in
Bremerton, and the new hospital in Gig Harbor.
Driscoll has a different kind of record. He will tell you that
he volunteered to rejoin the Marines long after he had to. That
will certainly play well with many. He will also ally himself more
with Republican fiscal ideals, which again will play well with
Driscoll also says he will go after bipartisan solutions, but
Kilmer makes the case he has a record of working across the aisle
in Olympia. And Kilmer’s focus on business certainly casts him in a
different light than, say it again, Nancy Pelosi.
If you go to Washingtonvotes.org, you can parse
out Kilmer’s record.
During the 2011-12 session there were more than 2,000 bills
introduced in each chamber. More than 700 passed and there were
nearly 1,100 votes. Of those, only 55 were decided by a margin of
10 or less. I picked that number as the marker where a single vote
is most important. Kilmer voted against his party on seven of those
votes, 12.7 percent of the time. By comparison, state Sen. Michael
Baumgartner, R-Spokane, (He’s the one running against Democrat
Maria Cantwell for her Senate seat. He’s also the one who had
unkind words for a reporter from Publicola. Look it up.) voted
against his party four times in those same 55 votes, or 7.3
percent. Tim Sheldon, D-Shelton, known as a maverick for voting
against the majority of his party often, voted against his party
81.8 percent of the close votes. I guess that means if Sheldon were
a Republican he would have voted against his party 18.9 percent of
In the House I upped the vote difference to 20 or less. There
were 158 of those. Republican Jan Angel voted against her party
12.7 percent of the time, same percentage as Kilmer. Democrat Larry
Seaquist went against party 4.4 percent, and Democrats Sherry
Appleton and Kathy Haigh each voted against their party three
times, 1.9 percent.
Of the 51 bills Kilmer introduced as the prime sponsor, 41 had
Here’s another stat Driscoll will have to overcome. In the two
previous Congressional election years that were run with the Top
Two format, Norm Dicks ran against multiple candidates in both. In
each primary he topped 50 percent. Worse for Driscoll, Dicks’
percentage went up in each general election.
The penny in the
picture tells you why Derek Kilmer’s name appears before Bill
Driscoll’s in the poll on the right. In the past I’ve gone
alphabetic, but decided to flip a penny here. Heads it’s Driscoll.
Tails it’s Kilmer. You see what happened.
If you read on you can read the press release Kilmer’s campaign
sent about Greenwood Clean Energy’s praise for Kilmer.