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Washington 2nd District - Koster vs. Larsen


John Koster

John Koster (R)

Bio | Campaign Site

Rick Larsen

Rick Larsen (D)*

Bio | Campaign Site

Washington Snapshot

RCP Ranking:
2010 Key Races:
Senate | WA-3 | WA-6 | WA-8 | WA-9

----------PAST KEY RACES----------

President | Governor | WA-8
2006: Senate | WA-8
2004: President | Gov | Sen | WA-5 | WA-8

Polling Data

PollDateSampleKoster (R)Larsen (D)Spread
Final Results----48.951.1Larsen +2.2
SurveyUSA10/19 - 10/21643 LV4650Larsen +4
SurveyUSA9/26 - 9/28576 LV4750Larsen +3
SurveyUSA8/31 - 9/2612 LV5046Koster +4

Previous Election Results

  2008: Larsen (D) 62%, Bart (R) 38%   2008: Obama (D) 56%, McCain (R) 42%
  2006: Larsen (D) 64%, Roulstone (R) 36%   2004: Kerry (D) 51%, Bush (R) 47%
  2004: Larsen (D) 64%, Sinclair (R) 34%   2000: Gore (D) 48%, Bush (R) 46%

Race Analysis

10/29/10 -- Larsen no longer trails in the polls here, but the campaign committees are spending here.  This, combined with Larsen's weak primary showing, suggests that the race is still a tossup.

----------Race Preview---------

Washington’s 2nd District is the far northwestern portion of the state. It is comprised of Whatcom, Skagit and Snohomish Counties – which sit as if neatly stacked atop King County (Seattle). The district also includes a portion of exurban King County, as well as the San Juan Islands. The Seattle suburbs and exurbs have gradually spilled into this once marginal territory, and today it is swing territory with a slight Democratic tilt.

Rick Larsen was elected to replace GOP Representative Jack Metcalf in 2000. In that year, Larsen trailed conservative Republican state Representative John Koster 46 percent to 49 percent in the all-party primary, but he came back to win 50 percent to 46 percent in the fall. Larsen compiled a mostly liberal voting record in Congress, although he has cast some conservative votes on economic policy.

Koster is back for the rematch this year. Once again, Larsen had a weak showing in the primary, finishing slightly behind Koster with 42.01 percent of the vote to Larsen’s 42.18 percent. But when you total up the Democratic share of the vote from the primary, Democrats received 52 percent of the vote, compared to 48 percent for the Republicans. Democrats usually improve their vote share over the primary, so Larsen should be pleased with this result.