OLYMPIA, Wash. - Washington State will hold what some political observers call a ‘jungle primary’ free-for-all on Tuesday. There are no Democratic or Republican primary ballots. All candidates are on the same ballot and the top two—regardless of political affiliation—move on the general election in November.
One of the key narratives of the primary will be the influence of Donald Trump.
In at least two congressional races, Trump’s endorsement or candidates embracing the former president's political mantras are major factors.
In a July Crosscut-Elway poll, 400 likely voters were asked if they were inclined to vote for a candidate because of the political party.
The poll showed 51% would likely vote for the Democratic candidate, 32% for the Republican candidate. Another 13% were undecided, and 3% said they would vote for "other."
Interestingly, of those who said they would vote for the Republican, 59% said they would vote for a candidate that Donald Trump endorsed, 12% said they would vote against the candidate Trump endorsed and 29% were undecided.
Two of the three Republican representatives who voted to impeach of President Trump are up for re-election in Washington State—Dan Newhouse and Jaime Herrera Beutler.
In the 4th Congressional District representing much of central part of the state, Newhouse is trying to fend off Republicans Jerrod Sessler Loren Culp. The impeach vote is one of the reasons why Sessler and Culp said they challenged Newhouse.
In the 3rd Congressional District, which represent nearly the entire southwest corner of the state, incumbent Republican Jaime Herrera Beutler is trying to fend off challenges from former Green Beret Joe Kent, who has Trump’s endorsement.
Republican Heidi St. John is a political unknown but could siphon away votes from Beutler and Kent to make way for another political unknown, Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp, to slide in as the second person on the November ballot.
In the 8th Congressional District, which covers most of King, Snohomish, Pierce, Kittitas and Chelan counties, Democratic incumbent Kim Schrier is expected to secure the most votes, with three Republican challengers expected to split the vote for the second spot on the November ballot.
Her challengers are King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn, former candidate for Attorney General Matt Larkin, and Jesse Jensen, a military veteran who ran against Schier and lost by only 4%.