Sen. Patty Murray (D) currently leads Republican Dino Rossi by just over 14,000 votes (less than one percent), with 62 percent of ballots counted. An estimated 500,000+ ballots remains to be counted, although it is difficult to be know the exact figure.
“No one knows how many ballots are left to count, since large volumes are in the mail and final return rate isn’t knowable,” Dave Ammons, spokesman for Secretary of State Sam Reed, wrote in an e-mail to seattlepi.com. “Both sides have legitimate theories for a path to victory, but it’s far too close to see how the offsetting trends play out. In my view, this is one of those classic too-close-to-call races. We need to let the vote tally continue.”
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports:
Exact numbers are tricky to come by, but we’ll take a stab. Prior to the election, the secretary of state estimated that about 60 percent of the total vote would be tallied Nov. 2. That would leave about 572,000 ballots remaining. King County officials say there could be about 350,000 votes still to count from the state’s largest county, which Murray was winning by more than a 60 percent margin.
Where can Rossi pick up votes? Places like Spokane and Clark County, which were favoring the Republican. In Spokane, there are about 100,000 ballots left to count, officials estimate. Rossi was winning 56 percent of the votes there. There also appeared to be about 100,000 votes left to county in Clark County, where Rossi was winning 54 percent of the vote.
Whatever the actual number of remaining ballots, a large chunk of them will be counted today and the results reported this afternoon (Pacific Time). BATTLE ‘10 will have those numbers as they come.
Both sides expressed confidence following the initial results. Sen. Murray told a crowd of supporters in Seattle last night: “We are winning tonight. We will be winning by even more tomorrow. We will win this race.”
Meanwhile, Rossi campaign manager Pat Shortridge wrote in a memo that “We are confident that the margins we are seeing throughout Washington State, combined with the state legislative victories, will put Dino Rossi ahead by an overwhelming margin.”.