Most of the country will know who won major races Tuesday night, but Washington residents may not know for several days who their next governor will be. Both Republican Rob McKenna and Democrat Jay Inslee expect their contest to be decided in the ballots that remain to be counted after election day.
McKenna says he thinks only 50 to 60 percent of the vote will be tabulated Tuesday night and he expects to wait until Friday or maybe next week to learn the outcome.
Inslee said he doesn't mind waiting and feels positive whether it's Tuesday night, Thursday or next week. Washington state voters are poised to decide on a crowded ticket that includes one of the most competitive governor's races in the nation as well as issues like legalizing gay marriage and the recreational use of marijuana.
The race to replace Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire is a tight contest between Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Rob McKenna.
Inslee and McKenna have raised more than $25 million combined during the campaign, not including the millions spent by third-party groups on TV ads and mailers. U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell is likely to clinch her third term in the U.S. Senate, while the race for one of Washington's redrawn congressional districts remains a toss-up.
Cantwell, a Democrat, has led Republican newcomer Michael Baumgartner in the polls and in fundraising since the beginning of the campaign season.
In the newly redrawn 1st Congressional district, Democrat Suzan DelBene faces Republican John Koster Tuesday in the state's closest congressional race.
Spanning from the suburbs of King County to the Canadian border in Whatcom County, the sprawling and redrawn district was seen as a toss-up throughout the election.
DelBene, a former Microsoft executive, defeated a group of Democrats in the primary to challenge Koster, who faced little opposition from his own party.
DelBene has used more than $2 million of her own money in the campaign