Why Doc Hastings owns the Land of Radioactive Tumble-Weeds

The election analysis fround in the Tri-Cities Herald after the 1996 election victory of Doc Hastings over Rick Locke for Congress:

It was a well-matched and yet curious campaign. The last two elections in the 4th Congressional District were decided by margins almost as slim, and the closeness of the score showed the 4th is truly a “swing district” that can favor either side.

When looking over Doc Hastings for a college class I had once, (I pretended to be Doc Hastings for a term), I found a quote from Rick Locke, as he looked into running in 1998, and shifting through the poll numbers. To paraphrase from memory (he had connections to the Tri-Cities, though didn’t live there): “I don’t know what the Democrats did to these people, but it must have been bad.”

To explain the difference between the cycles of 1992-1998 (when a Democrat did reasonably well) and 1998 onward (where if you look at the map for political meaning you simply gaze over this district, shrug, and mark it a deep red shape… and thus Gordon Allen Pross can become your party’s nominee) is the job of anyone in that district who gives a damned. The district fairly obviously represents the stratification and entrenchment of one-party domination in most American Congressional Districts. (Fun fact: the British House of Lords has more turn-over than the American House of Representatives has had in the last half dozen elections.) You have one chance to dislodge a Representative, unless scandal breaks out, and that is after his/her first term. An entropy hits after that, and s/he’s there until s/he decides to retire… at which point, if you can find someone who fits the district and get lucky (1992 was a bad year for Washington State Republicans) … more power to you.

Beyond that… I suspect part of the problem is found from a small nugget I saw in a summary of the 2002 debate between Craig Mason and Doc Hastings. A caller (or person in the audience, I don’t know how the debate was set up) actually asked Craig Mason, “Are you an atheist?” That may be a bit uniqute a situation — Craig Mason was (is?) simply a well-meaning Community College Professor… and therein we see the anti-elitist and anti-intellectual bias of some people.

Do I dare chime in with a profile of Jay Inslee, Rick Locke, Gordon Allen Pross, Jim Davis, Craig Mason, and Sandy Matheson?

(Jim Davis photo can not be found. )

1992, 1994: JAY INSLEE. 51%, 48%.

1996: lost 52% to 48%. 1998: Gordon Allen Pross: 25% against Doc’s 69%.

2000: Jim Davis, 37% against Doc’s 61%. : mine this.

2002: Craig Mason, 33%.

2004: Sandy Matheson 37%.

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