Washington 2019 Primary Results and Analysis

Source: Brad Boswell, Boswell Consulting, August 7, 2019.

Yesterday, August 6th, was the 2019 Washington State Primary Election. While ballots are still in the process of being counted, initial results give a fairly clear picture of which two candidates have emerged for each race and—regardless of party—will now advance to the general election in November for a number of key races. Voter turnout currently sits just under 30% and is expected to climb only to about 35% in this midterm primary election. 

At the statewide level, both incumbents from the two special legislative elections will move on to the General as frontrunners. In the 40th District (Whatcom County), Senator Liz Lovelett will face off with Republican contender Daniel Miller. Lovelett currently holds 47.56% of the vote and Miller 29.87%. The total Democratic vote sits at nearly 70% in this left-leaning district.

In the 13th District (Yakima), the only two contenders, Representative Alex Ybarra and Democratic challenger Steve Verhey will advance to the primary; Ybarra with  70% of the populous and Verhey with 29.63%.

At the local level, most counties across the state saw city and county council elections on their ballots, as well as various other local offices and measures. This is a particularly significant election for the Seattle City Council—which has seen notable turmoil in the last year—with 7 of the 9 seats up for reelection and 4 of those vacated and open. While all of the incumbents who are seeking reelection are currently leading the polls, none of them managed to amass more than 50% of the vote in this preliminary race, which is a strong indicator that Seattle voters are seeking change. The most vulnerable seat heading into the General appears to be that of Councilwoman Kshama Sawant, who gathered only 33% of the overall vote. It is also worth noting that a business community-endorsed candidate will advance to the General in every district.

We will be following up with updates as ballot counting continues for the next few days, however we are not anticipating significant changes in the breakdown of these races.