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5 Key Races to Watch Tonight

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1. Presidential Election

While the national polls show a steady lead for Vice President Biden, the polls in several swing states have tightened in recent days. Though it is possible we may not know the results on election night, the election night returns in three key east coast states could blunt President Trump’s reelection hopes. An early victory for Biden in any of these three states could make the electoral map nearly impossible for President Trump.

Georgia Polls close at 4:00 pm PST
North Carolina Polls close at 4:30 pm PST
Pennsylvania Polls close at 5:00 pm PST

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Capitol

2. United States Senate

The Federal House of Representatives is widely expected to stay under Democratic control. However, the Republicans narrow majority in the Senate is in serious jeopardy. Republican incumbents in “competitive” races are defending seats in Maine, Texas, North Carolina, Iowa, Colorado, Montana, South Carolina, Colorado, Arizona, and two seats in Georgia. Republicans are predicted to pick up a seat in Alabama, and lose seats in Colorado, Georgia, Arizona, and Maine. That result could deadlock the Senate at 50-50, giving the new Vice President the tie breaking vote for control of the chamber.

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3. Superintendent of Public Instruction

The little-known Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction has an influential role in governing our state’s public schools. For the past four years the office has been held by former legislator Chris Reykdal. This year he is being challenged by Latino community nonprofit director Maia Espinoza. While the race is nonpartisan, Reykdal is primarily supported by Democrats and the state’s powerful teacher’s union, and Espinoza by more Republican leading interests. With little attention on the race and with the incumbent polling under 45% in the primary, this could be a race to watch.

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4. King County Charter Amendments 5 and 6

The King County Charter Commission meets every 10 years to recommend changes to the County’s “constitution.” In 1996, county voters approved a charter amendment providing for the direct election of the County’s top law enforcement officer. This year, a majority of King County Charter Commissioners recommended returning to an appointed sheriff. The County Council subsequently presented two amendments to the voters, the first eliminates the office as an elected position, and the other placing it under greater control by the County Executive.

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5. Washington State Senate, 5th District

The most expensive legislative race in Washington State this year isn’t a partisan battle – it’s in an intraparty contest between two-term incumbent Senator Mark Mullet, and nurse and political newcomer, Ingrid Anderson. Mullet is widely viewed as a moderate and pro-business candidate while Anderson is supported by Democratic Party loyalists – including Governor Jay Inslee, and union funders. While the State Senate is in no danger of slipping into Republican hands, this race could determine what legislation impacting taxes, climate change, and a host of other issues could make it all the way to the Governor’s desk this session.

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