WA 2018 Midterm Election Results: Report From Brad Boswell, Boswell Consulting

2018 Midterm Election Results

The ballots have been cast and preliminary results are now available for the 2018 General Election. Although ballots are still being processed and will not be considered official until the end of the week, it is clear from initial results that the “blue wave” witnessed on the national stage in the primaries did not translate to the general election. Washington State, however, did experience significant Democratic gains.

Building on the relatively high primary participation, voters turned out at 45% here in Washington. This is compared to only 37% nationally and 54% statewide in the last midterm election in 2014.  These numbers could change with new ballot counts in the coming days.

This election was pivotal both statewide and nationally, determining the balance of power in Congress and in the state legislature. Many factors contributed to this including a large number of seats up for re-election, many open seats due to departures and retirements, narrow partisan margins, hot button ballot issues, and an overall intense and polarized political environment. The high stakes created by these narrow majorities and open seats in swing districts resulted in hotly contested and massively funded races and measures across the country, as well as the record-breaking voter turnout we have witnessed.

Here in Washington, our ballot contained several notable and contentious measures.

I-1631, which would have instituted a first-in-the-nation carbon tax, failed to pass with only 43.68%. The other 3 measures on the ballot are likely to pass. These are I-1634 concerning local grocery and beverage taxes which has 54.78% of the vote, I-1639 banning certain firearms with 60.35%, and I-940 which institutes new law enforcement sensitivity training with 59.2%.

Additionally, voters decided on a number of key races in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. This was a result of half of the Senate and the entire House up for re-election and 25 of these races being considered toss-ups or slightly leaning—either of which makes them highly competitive. Going into the election, Democrats held the majority in both houses of the legislature (as well as the governorship, which was not up for re-election this year). The Democrats hold a narrow 25-24 margin over Republicans in the Senate and a 50-48 margin in the House. Preliminary totals indicate that the Washington State Legislature is about to undergo some significant changes—with Democrats likely gaining 4 seats in the House and at least 1 in the Senate. Here are the initial results of key races:

WA State Senate – Key Races 

6th District (Spokane)

In this race to replace Sen. Michael Baumgartner, Rep. Jeff Holy (R) is defeating Democratic challenger Jessa Lewis (D). This is a traditionally Republican District.

  • Holy: 54.74%
  • Lewis: 45.26%

26th District (Port Orchard and parts of the Kitsap Peninsula)

Emily Randall (D) is slightly ahead of Marty McClendon (R) in this too-close-to-call race. This open seat is a result of Sen. Jan Angel retiring.

  • Randall: 50.6%
  • McClendon: 49.4%

30th District (Federal Way)

Challenger Claire Wilson (D) is leading incumbent Republican Senator Mark Miloscia in this lean-Democrat district.

  • Wilson: 53.13%
  • Milsocia: 46.87%

32nd District (North Seattle)

Democrat Jesse Solomon is far outpacing incumbent Sen. Maralyn Chase (D).

  • Solomon: 68.93%
  • Chase: 39.07%

34th District (Vashon Island/West Seattle/Burien)

In this open seat created by the retirement of Senate Majority Leader Sharon Nelson, Joe Nguyen (D) is leading Shannon Braddock (D) by a substantial margin.

  • Nguyen: 57.39%
  • Braddock: 42.61%

35th District (Shelton)

Sen. Tim Sheldon, a Democrat who caucuses with the Majority Coalition Caucus, is defeating challenger Irene Bowling (D).

  • Sheldon: 52.37%
  • Bowling: 47.63%

42nd District (East Whatcom County)

Incumbent Republican Senator Doug Ericksen is currently ahead by very narrow margins against democratic challenger Pinky Vargas.

  • Ericksen: 50.37%
  • Vargas: 49.63%

47th District (Kent/Auburn)

Sen. Joe Fain (R) is slightly ahead in this too-close-to-call race against Mona Das (D). The 47th is a pure swing district.

  • Fain: 50.35%
  • Das: 49.66%

WA State House of Representatives — Key Races

5th District Pos. 1 (Sammamish)

This is an open seat created by Rep. Jay Rodne’s departure. Bill Ramos (R) is currently defeating Chad Magendanz (R).

  • Ramos: 52.48%
  • Magendanz: 47.52%

5th District Pos. 2 (Sammamish)

Democratic challenger Lisa Callan is poised to defeat incumbent Rep. Paul Graves (R).

  • Callan: 53.12%
  • Graves: 46.88%

6th District Pos. 2 Open (Spokane)

Jenny Graham (R) is currently slightly outpacing Dave Wilson (D) in this open seat created by Rep. Jeff Holy running for Senate.

  • Graham: 50.32%
  • Wilson: 49.68%

10th District Pos. 1 (Mt. Vernon)

Rep. Norma Smith (R) is defeating Scott McMullen (D) in this swing-Republican district.

  • Smith: 52.72%
  • McMullen: 47.28%

10th District Pos. 2 (Mt. Vernon)

Democratic challenger Dave Paul is currently defeating Rep. Dave Hayes (R) by very narrow margins.

  • Paul: 50.24%
  • Hayes: 49.76%

17th District Pos. 1 (Vancouver)

Rep. Vicki Kraft (R) is ahead of challenger Tanisha Harris (D) but this race is still extremely close.

  • Kraft: 50.65%
  • Harris: 49.35%

18th District Pos. 2  (Vancouver)

Kathy Gillespie (D) is currently pulling ahead of Larry Hoff (R) in this open seat.

  • Gillespie: 48.95%
  • Hoff: 48.05%

19th District Pos. 1 (SW Washington — Lower Olympic Peninsula)

Rep. Jim Walsh (R) is currently defending his seat against challenger Erin Frasier (D) in this swing-Democrat district, however the race is still very close.

  • Walsh: 50.7%
  • Fraiser: 49.3%

25th District Pos. 1  (Puyallup)

In this swing-district open seat, Republican Kelly Chambers will likely defeat Democrat Jamie Smith

  • Chambers: 52.41%
  • Smith: 47.59

25th District Pos. 2  (Puyallup)

This also open seat will likely go to Republican Chris Gildon who ran against Democrat Brian Duthie.

  • Gildon: 52.78%
  • Duthie: 47.22%

26th District Pos. 1 (Port Orchard)

Rep. Jesse Young (R) is currently pulling ahead of challenger Connie Fitzpatrick (D).

  • Young: 51.09%
  • Fitzpatrck: 48.91%

28th District Pos. 1 (University Place)

Democratic challenger Mari Leavitt (D) is looking poised to take Republican Rep. Dick Muri’s seat in this pure swing district.

  • Leavitt: 51.45%
  • Muri: 48.55%

35th District Pos. 2 (Shelton)

Rep. Drew MacEwen (R) appears to be defending his seat against challenger David Daggett (D) in this swing district.

  • MacEwen: 51.44%
  • Dagget: 48.56%

42nd District Pos. 1 (Whatcom County)

Rep. Luanne Van Werven (R) is leading against challenger Justin Boneau (D) in this traditionally Republican District

  • Van Werven: 50.67%
  • Boneau: 49.33%

42nd District Pos. 2 (Whatcom County)

Sharon Shoemaker (D) could be poised to pick up Rep. Vince Buys (R) seat.

  • Shoemaker: 50.11%
  • Buys: 49.89

44th District Pos. 2 (Mill Creek)

Challenger Jared Mead (D) is currently defeating incumbent Rep. Mark Harmsworth (R).

  • Mead: 52.12%
  • Harmsworth: 47.88%

47th District Pos. 1 (Kent/Auburn)

Rep. Mark Hargrove (R) is trailing against challenger Debra Entenman (D) in this pure swing district.

  • Entenman: 52.4%
  • Hargrove: 47.6

At the federal level, the same uncertain, competitive landscape could be seen that encompassed the state heading into yesterdays election. This included 485 total seats up for reelection with nearly 100 of those considered highly competitive. Current results indicate that Democrats have gained control of the House with 207 seats and Republican’s only holding 194.  Republicans have maintained control of the U.S. Senate.

U.S. Senate

 Incumbent Senator Maria Cantwell (D) handily defeated challenger Susan Hutchinson (R).

  • Cantwell: 58.6%
  • Hutchinson: 41.4%

 U.S. House of Representatives – Key Races

*3rd District

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R) defeated challenger Democrat Carolyn Long.

  • Beutler: 52.25%
  • Long: 47.75%

*5th District

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R) defended her seat against challenger Lisa Brown (D)

  • McMorris Rodgers: 55.95%
  • Brown: 44.05%

*8th District

In this open seat, Dr. Kim Schrier (D) has likely defeated former State Senator Dino Rossi (R).

  • Schrier: 52.94%
  • Rossi: 47.06%