Opinion

Election day junkies

Adele Ferguson -
Adele Ferguson
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For many years, a bunch of us political junkies have gathered on Election Day for lunch and prognosticating with our leader Ralph Munro, now former Secretary of State.
Ralph was still voting out of his longtime home on Bainbridge Island then so he had to come up to Kitsap from Olympia on Election Day anyway.
He called it the dumbos and jackasses gathering since it was a mixture of Republicans, Democrats, independents, legislators and ex-legislators, county officials and exes, city officials and exes, business folk and me. Attendance was by invitation and sometimes people showed up who werent invited but we were hospitable.
We scale it down during off years like this one, where we had 16. But if that sounds small to you in considering how we voted on ballot issues and candidates, bear in mind that most national polls only include a couple of thousand recipients in a country of 300 million. Our 16 were diverse in bases but tilted Democratic, as does Kitsap County.
Heres how we expected the vote to come out, not necessarily how we wanted it:
On I-960, Tim Eymans latest effort to limit the Legislatures ability to raise taxes, 7 yes, 8 no. As usual, in any poll and on any ballot, not everybody votes on everything.
We were on the wrong side of the squeaker. At this writing, I-960 passed, 52-48 percent.
R-67, the Democrats gift to the trial lawyers to force treble damages from insurance companies found to be unreasonable in denying or reducing claims, scored 10-6 at our hands so we were right on that one.
We were way off on EHJR 4204, changing the 60 percent vote requirement on school levies to a simple majority and eliminating the minority turnout. We said it would pass, 13-3. Fortunately, voters statewide saw it differently, rejecting it, 48-52 percent.
We guessed right on passage of the three lesser ballot measures on higher education investments, prison labor and the rainy day fund.
We also read the voters right who dumped Megalopoliss roads and transit tax increase in King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties. We said no, 6-9. Voters said no, 44-56 percent.
We did the same with Bremertons Proposition 1 tax increase, 6 yes, 8 no.
Asked who would be the Republican nominee for president next year, our folks gave Rudy Guiliani 10 votes, John McCain 2, Mitt Romney 3 and Mike Huckabee 1. We gave Hillary 15 votes as the expected Democratic nominee and Obama 1. We played it cool on who the next president will be, in case we were erring on the nominee. We gave 9 votes to whoever the Democrat is, and 2 to the Republican.
Asked to guess who might be the biggest surprise candidate or non-candidate in any race in 2008, guesses were that Gore would run, Congressman Doc Hastings would not run and John McCain would be the only Republican left standing.
Our final question tested our historical memories. Three times a presidential candidate has won the popular vote but lost the Electoral College vote and thus the presidency. In 1876, that was Republican Rutherford Hayes over Democrat Samuel Tilden. In 1888, it was Republican Benjamin Harrison over Democrat Grover Cleveland, In 2000, it was Republican George W. Bush over Democrat Al Gore. But who won both the popular and electoral votes and still lost the presidency? Andrew Jackson to John Quincy Adams in l824 in the only party then, the Republicans.
No wonder the Democrats want to dump the Electoral College for the popular vote.

Adele Ferguson can be reached at P.O. Box 69, Hansville, WA 98340.

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