Evan Smith: Two ballot measures; two different statewide splits

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Commentary / Evan Smith  

Voters in Shoreline, Lake Forest Park and the rest of King County contributed to Washington’s approving Referendum 71 and defeating Initiative 1033, but November's statewide vote showed a Washington sharply divided on one issue, but generally united on the other.

The vote to approve R-71, the expansion of Washington’s domestic partnership law, showed a split between the Puget Sound area and the rest of the State. The vote against I-1033, however, showed it losing throughout the State. 

That shows a state divided on social issues, but not on the economic issue presented by I-1033.

The expansion of domestic-partnership rights passed 53 percent to 47 percent, but won in only 10 counties, all bordering on Puget Sound but won in no counties east of the Cascades or south of Olympia. Initiative 1033, the Tim-Eyman-sponsored measure to freeze government spending, failed by a 58-42 percent margin, passing only in three Northeast Washington counties, four Central Washington counties and eight Southwest Washington counties.

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