This is the First of a series of articles analyzing the results of the 2018 election in Whatcom County.
All three Republican Candidates received less than 50% in their Primaries on August 7th.
The year of the Blue Wave came and went in Northern Whatcom County and in 2 out of 3 cases the GOP held on to their seats in a squeaker of an election that ended in a 4 day hand recount for two legislative races. The recount was finished on December 6th a full month after the polls closed.
The result: After coming in at 46% in the August 7th Primary Sen. Doug Ericksen held on to his seat for another four years by 45 votes in a close victory against Bellingham City Councilwoman Pinky Vargas.
Rep. Luanne Van Werven takes on another two years in Olympia by 80 votes getting a victory against Justin Boneau. This was after a Boneau Primary victory that saw VanWerven garner only 44% of the Vote.
But local Republicans lost Rep Vincent Buys in a last minute flurry of negative advertising by the Democrats and their surrogates. Democrat Sharon Shewmake a professor at WWU will be replacing Buys in Olympia in January.
Only a 7% chance of winning…
Republicans lost their Primaries on August 7th 2018…In the Top Two Primary System this normally means (93% of the time) that Primary losers will be General Election Losers.
Caleb Heimlich Chairman of the Washington State Republican Party stated that “Only 7% of those candidates in the top two primary system that lose the primary are able to come back and win in the general election,” Heimlich said.
Two candidates: Sen Doug Ericksen and Rep Luanne VanWerven bucked the 93% of those that lose; here in Whatcom County and both won. The Fourth Corner could not find in Washington State where 2 candidates in the same legislative district overcame a Primary defeat in the same election and won.
The three tables below tell the story by the numbers:
The first gives the Primary Results on August 7th.
The second gives the General Election Results for November 6th.
The third gives the difference between the the primary and the general showing how all three GOP candidates picked up Votes in the General Instead of losing votes.
This table shows the vote by Candidate in the Primary election August 7th 2018.
Note the Primary Voter Percentage for each Republican candidate on the top line.
Rep Pos 1
|Votes||%||Rep Pos 2||Votes||%|
This table shows the vote by Candidate in the General election November 6th 2018.
Note the General Voter Percentage for each Republican candidate on the top line.
|Senate||Votes||%||Rep Pos 1||Votes||%||Rep Pos 2||Votes||%|
Finally this table shows the Net Increase by Republicans over Democrats from the Aug 7th vote to the Nov 6th Elections.
Note the Voter Percentage difference for each Republican candidate on the top line.
|Ericksen Increase||17164||4.18%||Vanwerven Increase
|Vargas Increase||13650||Boneaou Increase||12967||Shewmake Increase||14971|
|Net Increase Republican||3514||Net Increase Republican||4835||Net Increase Republican
Check out the above tables tracking the story from Primary to General Here.
Interesting stuff Mr. Crabtree. I have never considered an incumbent as an underdog, and most politicos would agree with me. I think the primary and the general election results of 2018 show that a huge political shift has occurred in Whatcom County. We have added 13,800+ new registered voters in Whatcom County since the 2015 general election (and the 2018 primary and general election results show they do not lean Republican).
If you take a look at the Frazey/Peetoom race for the County Council at-large position you’ll see there was a 59% vs 41% advantage towards the Democrats. We as Republicans need to rise to the challenge, we need to get creative, think outside of the political box, agitate, work together, and refuse to go quietly into the good night.