Ross: Is King County the GOP’s nemesis?

Nov 11, 2022, 11:13 AM | Updated: 11:13 am

king county...

Sen. Patty Murray on a campaign stop in Seattle. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)

As Danny Westneat pointed out in The Seattle Times this week, once again, it was King County that spoiled Republican chances to pick up a Senate seat.

And I’ve heard that a lot over the years, the lament that “if it wasn’t for King County, we would have won easily” – the implication being that it’s unfair that a conservative candidate has to find a way to appeal to all those King County liberals.

And when you look at the Washington map divided into red and blue counties, it DOES seem unfair. The Red looks like it could swallow the Blue in one gulp.

And when you look at a map of the WHOLE COUNTRY divided into red and blue counties – yikes! You wonder how there could be any Democrats in Congress at all!

But the problem with maps like that is they only make sense if land … could vote.

It’s only in the U.S. Senate that land can vote.  For example, Washington State has more people than the states of Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Delaware, Rhode Island, and Montana COMBINED. But collectively, those eight states get 16 senators, and we get TWO.

THAT’s what’s unfair.

King County tipping elections – is completely fair. Because in general elections, it’s PEOPLE that vote, not land. And King County has the most people.

More from Ross: Now’s the time to look for a better candidate for future elections

It dominates Washington politics because it should. For the same reason, it takes longer to stop a freight train than a Mini Cooper. It’s bigger.

And while we’re at it – let’s take a look at this idea that liberal politics has made King County a terrible place to live. If that’s true, why does it keep growing?

It is NOT cheap to live here. Who spends that kind of money to live in a terrible place? No one. Because it’s not a terrible place.

I think some of the anger is because this place is TOO attractive, which has pushed prices so high that people who once COULD afford to live here no longer can.

But – conservatives should be the last group to complain about that – because that’s how markets work: demand pushes prices up.

Bottom line – it’s not some fundamental unfairness that requires politicians to appeal to King County if they want to get elected – it’s the way the system is designed.

And the beautiful part is that we have freedom of movement in this country so that people can vote with their feet as well as with their ballots.

Many of them do – which is why Snohomish and Pierce Counties are ALSO growing. And if that continues – politicians will have to kowtow to THEM someday – as they should.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dave Ross on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross

Palestinians flee to northern Gaza as Israeli tanks block the Salah al-Din road in the central Gaza...

Dave Ross

Ross: When deterrence doesn’t work with the Gaza War

Beyond the debate over morality, the Gaza War is teaching us how a conflict between two groups can rip away the veneer of civilization.

3 days ago

Swimmers take part in the annual Sydney Skinny....

Dave Ross

Ross: Beaches in the buff don’t scream ‘Seattle’

It's not necessarily lewd to go naked. It's just that this is Seattle, not Brazil. The climate here doesn't exactly scream "nude."

7 days ago

FILE - Former President Donald Trump waits to take the witness stand during his civil fraud trial a...

Dave Ross

Ross: Turning the Constitution on itself

In a hearing before the DC Court of Appeals, Donald Trump’s attorney argued that the First Amendment protects his political speech and that the gag order against him in the election tampering case is unconstitutional.

8 days ago

Image: Washington Louis sorts through cans of food at the LifeNet4Families community-based food pan...

Dave Ross

Ross: Helping the hungry comes with gratitude that goes both ways

Last week a group of us from KIRO Radio – Management, Sales, and On-Air staff – volunteered at the White Center Food Bank.

9 days ago

Sen. Markwayne Mullin. (Getty Images)...

Dave Ross

Ross: Politics is war by other means

We all know that bullies are a problem. It’s bad enough in the classroom, but it’s really bad when that attitude persists into adulthood and plays out among people in important positions.

13 days ago

Nurse patient...

Dave Ross

Ross: Artificial Intelligence bringing a non-human approach to health care

I'm at the age where after a doctor’s visit I’ll get a form letter basically saying -- we just paid one of your medical bills, please prove it's legitimate.

14 days ago

Ross: Is King County the GOP’s nemesis?