When you talk to Madeline Fakharzadeh, a high school senior in Kent, you wouldn’t necessarily think American politics are all that divisive right now. At Tuesday's Republican election night party in Bellevue, she held a campaign sign for her local congressman, Republican Dave Reichert. But she has also volunteered for Democrats and for Washington United for Marriage, the group behind Referendum 74 to legalize same-sex marriage. And she didn’t think she was out of the ordinary in a Republican crowd on election night. “With times changing the way they are, it’s not a matter of, ‘I’m a conservative, I don’t believe in same-sex marriage.’ It’s changing,” she said.
The voters in the cities and towns on the east side of Lake Washington are a diverse bunch. Gone is the red swath that once ran up the I-405 corridor. Changing economics and demographics have created patches of blue and a purple hue where the outcomes of statewide elections are determined. We talk with Knute Berger about how Democrats and Independents are reshaping Eastside politics and where Republicans are digging in.