Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, expanded her lead in the final primary election vote count, but challenger Carolyn Long is building momentum behind the strongest Democratic challenge the incumbent has faced in years.
Long’s support dropped by 1 percent when all ballots were tallied, while Herrera Beutler gained a point, giving Herrera Beutler 42 percent to Long’s 35 percent. Overall, Democratic candidates earned 49 percent of the vote, giving the party hope that the longtime GOP stronghold of the 3rd District may be ripe for a change in the November midterm elections.
“We had a feeling that it was gonna be really close if you looked at the total Democratic and Republican votes,” Long said in an interview after the initial vote counts were released. “It shows the strength of this campaign. … I believe that people will come.” Soon after the primary, Long was added to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s Red to Blue program, a list of races in which it will invest to defeat GOP incumbents. The DCCC is the campaign arm of House Democrats, and its backing is a sign that national election officials believe the race will be competitive.
Long already has the backing of Emily’s List, another powerhouse national group that fundraises for pro-choice Democratic women.
Still, the challenger faces long odds in taking on the entrenched incumbent. Herrera Beutler, as of the last reporting period, had more than $1 million in the bank. Long had just more than $100,000, having spent the vast majority of her funds to advance in the primary election. Herrera Beutler has not earned less than 60 percent of the general election vote since her initial win in 2010. “It’s important to point out that Carolyn Long spent her entire campaign treasure chest to win a hotly contested primary, while Jaime saved all of her resources for the general election,” Herrera Beutler spokeswoman Angeline Riesterer said in an emailed statement on the final day of primary voting. “Jaime’s only goal was to advance to the general election and she finished first in the primary.”
The outside backing of big Democratic groups may help Long offset some of that financial disadvantage, however.
“(P)rimary results have made it crystal clear that Jaime Herrera Beutler is in serious danger of losing in November,” DCCC regional press secretary Amanda Sherman said in a release.
The National Republican Congressional Committee, the DCCC’s GOP counterpart, has not added Herrera Beutler to its Patriot Program, a list of incumbents it considers vulnerable. Facebook Twitter Email Print Save