Reading the Political Tea Leaves

During the Silverdale Republican Senate debate Craig Williams, who ended up not filing for the race, said when he was investigating who to back for the Senate race before he started running himself, he was told by state party people not to bother, that U.S. Sen. Patty Murray was unbeatable. Her showing in 2004 against George Nethercutt, who was a credible challenger, could have been used as evidence.

A piece in Crosscut, however, written by former state GOP party chairman Chris Vance, makes clear that many are rethinking that earlier notion. Vance thinks in’s a safe bet Dino Rossi will be among the top two following the August primary and that nothing is sure yet about the November race.

Norm Dicks is seen as a lock in his House race, while Inslee’s district leans Democrat. Vance makes the case that in Inslee’s race much will be determined by how well his challengers, Matthew Burke and James Watkins, raise money.

Of more local interest, though written with even less detail, are the legislative races deemed toss-ups. Vance cites Democrats in districts where Rossi beat Gov. Chris Gregoire in 2008. By that standard, and making an exception for Potlatch Democratic state Sen. Tim Sheldon, the four other Democratic incumbents in the 26th and 35th districts are vulnerable, if they have credible challengers. The 23rd district is characterized as a Democratic leaning area, so neither incumbent is labeled “safe.”

As Editor David Nelson wrote on his blog, the Kitsap Sun’s editorial board begins meeting with candidates today.

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