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Numbers adding up to likely Inslee win for Washington governor

Democrat Jay Inslee says he's begun making plans to take over as governor, even though over a million ballots remain to be counted in the race. (Tim Haeck/KIRO Radio photo)

While Republican Rob McKenna insists the race isn’t over, experts say the numbers will add up for Democrat Jay Inslee in the race for governor as results come in during the tight race.

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“We’re going to ask you to be patient for a few more days,” McKenna told supporters at the GOP party in Bellevue. “This year it will be worth the wait.”

Not everyone agrees with McKenna’s sentiments. He trailed by just over 44,000 votes statewide Wednesday night, and a Seattle Times analysis says he would need to capture 52 percent of the estimated 1.2 ballots still to be counted as of Tuesday. He was pulling 48.7 percent at the initial tally.

“I don’t think McKenna’s going to overcome the deficit,” predicts KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson. “King County was 63-37 for Inslee. I don’t care how many late votes come in, I don’t see any way that McKenna’s going to overcome the deficit that he faces.”

University of Washington political science professor Matt Barreto agrees. He says McKenna would need 60 percent of the remaining votes outside King County to catch Inslee, but was getting just 53.4 percent.

“King County will overwhelm McKenna,” Barreto tells the Times, saying there simply aren’t enough votes out there for McKenna to come back.

Inslee isn’t declaring victory yet, but is clearly planning to be named the winner.

“I am very confident that we will be in a position to lead the state of Washington in the next four years,” Inslee said Wednesday.

Inslee said he has begun organizing a transition team and will be ready to start working as soon as the election is finalized.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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