Washington State Senate Elections

This year’s Washington State Senate Elections was held last November 7. Maria Cantwell won in this year’s election and would be serving from January 3 of next year until January 3, 2013. Maria Cantwell won the Democratic Party’s nomination with 91% against Hong Tran, the next closest candidate. It was reported that the Republicans first pleaded Rossi to run for candidacy but the latter declined. They also asked other potential candidates including Rick White, Chris Vance, Susan Hutchinson and Diane Tebelius, none of whom accepted the offer.

Finally, they got Mick McGavick to run for candidacy. Aaron Dixon announced his application for candidacy for the US Senate on Marh 9, 2006, seeking the Green Party’s nomination. He secured his nomination for the Green Party at Washington State’s Spring Convention on May 13, 2006. He challenged Cantwell’s continued support for the war in Iraq and the USA Patriotic Act. Throughout the race, Cantwell has been compared to Joe Lieberman, the incumbent Democratic Senator from Connecticut who lost to his challenger Ned Lamont.

Political analysts thought that Cantwell might lose the race because of the on-going anti-war and anti-incumbent sentiment. Both Cantwell and Lieberman voted in favor of the Iraq Resolution that led to the war with Cantwell even saying that she did not regret her support for the war. However, during the course of the election, Cantwell withdrew her support for the Iraq war and even criticized the Bush Administration. Political commentators described her as buying out the opposition since she hired Mark Wilson with an $8,000 per month salary.

She was also reported to do the same move with her other anti-war opponents Hong Tran and Aaron Dixon. However, the political analysts’ prediction on Cantwell’s chances in winning the race proved to be wrong. In the duration of the election, Cantwell consistently led election polls. This was followed closely by Mike McGavick. On April 13, 2006, Rasmussen Reports election polls showed a close fight between McGavick and Cantwell. In March, Cantwell led by 13%. However, in April, her lead decreased to 8% with her having 48% and McGavick having 40%.

But, in October’s polls, her lead again increased to 11% over Mike McGavick. It was reported that McGavick’s support sliding to 35% was due to an old drunk driving incident made public. It was also said in the same report that voters trust the Democrats more than the Republicans on the issue of Iraq and the economy. On April 10, 2006, the Libertarian Party’s candidate, Bruce Guthrie, joined in the race. Guthrie is also against the Iraq war including this issue as one of his platforms. Also included in his platforms are repealing the USA Patriot Act, gay rights and a laissez-faire economics program.

And then on July 25, another candidate Robin Adair, this time independent, joined in the race. And just like the other candidates, she is reported to be opposed to the Iraq war. Although there is a trend against incumbents, Cantwell still got majority of the votes for Washington’s State Senate 2006. The reason for this is discussed in the next section. OUTCOMES AND EXPLANATIONS Although many political analysts predicted that Cantwell might lose her campaign in this year’s Senate Race, Cantwell still managed to win with 17 to 18 points lead.

One of the possible reasons for her victory is that, for the moment, people have turned back to economic issues and away from high-octane social issues such as the Iraq war. Cantwell addressed Spokane’s problem on gas prices during the televised Senate debate sponsored by KING-TV and the Seattle Times. As the Seattle Times reported, “Her strong grasp of energy matters mixed with her on-the-ground understanding of an important pocketbook issue paid off. ” In his paper (cite), Justin Wolfers said that sophisticated tests reveal that voters tend to re-elect incumbents during oil price rises, such as the situation in Spokane.

Thus, Spokane voted for the incumbent Senator Cantwell since Spokane is experiencing an oil price rise. However, when the oil price drops, they tend to vote incumbents out of their office. In general, voters are inclined to give their support to the incumbent when the state’s economy is in a good condition. But if the economy is experiencing a decline, they vote against these incumbents. One possible reason is that voters want to see if this newly elected officer might perform a better job than the one he succeeded.

Voters tend blame their economy’s downfall on the people handling their state.

SOURCES:

("Mike Mcgavick"; "Washington"; "Mike Mcgavick"; "Washington United States Senate Election, 2006"; Wolfers; "Washington Senate") "2002 Women of Distinction". The YWCA Olympia. Fryer, Alex. "Father Was Taproot for Mcgavick's Grounding in Politics. " The Seattle Times, 2006. "Mike Mcgavick". Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia. November 16 2006. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_McGavick>. "Mike Mcgavick". Reference for Business. November 18 2006. <http://www.

referenceforbusiness. com/biography/M-R/McGavick-Mike-1958. html>. "A Tradition of Independence: 1971-Now Changes in Voting". Washington. Washington Secretary of State. November 18 2006. <http://www. secstate. wa. gov/elections/timeline/time5. htm>. "Washington". Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. November 16 2006. <http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Washington>. "Washington Senate". 2006. Rasmussen Reports. November 16 2006. <http://www. rasmussenreports. com/2006/State%20Polls/April%202006/Washington%20Senate%20April. htm>. "Washington State Demographics".

Washington Almanac. November 17 2006. <http://www. washingtonalmanac. org/Demographics_INDEX. htm>. "Washington United States Senate Election, 2006". 2006. Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia. November 16 2006. <http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Washington_United_States_Senate_election,_2006>. White, Deborah. "Us Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington. " Liberal Politics: US, 2006. Wolfers, Justin. "Are Voters Rational? Evidence from Gubernatorial Elections. " American Law and Economics Association Annual Meetings: Berkeley Electronic Press, 2005.