The Metropolitan Parks District increased its lead over the 'No' vote after the second batch of ballots were counted this afternoon. The citywide property tax for a permanent parks district is now leading 52.7 to 47.3 (getting 54.9 percent of the latest batch vs. 52.3 percent of the first batch last night). King County Elections counted about 14,000 new votes today. 

The Democratic goal of winning back the state senate continued to look like a tall order, with most of the Democratic hopefuls falling below the 45 percent mark. The Democratic candidate who made the best showing last night, Matt Isenhower in the 45th District Microsoft suburbs, lost a little ground, falling just below 46 percent to 45.93 (conventional wisdom is that the Democratic challengers need to be at about 45 percent to have a shot in the general.) Isenhower's opponent, incumbent state Sen. Andy Hill (R-45, Kirkland), the GOP budget leader, remained at 53.9. 

Another slight glimmer of hope from last night is also dimming for Democrats. Sen. Tim Sheldon (D-35, Potlatch), who caucuses with the Republicans, did not drop into second place. If Sheldon ends up going through, he's likely to pick up most of the Republican votes—and beat the current first place finisher, Democrat Irene Bowling, in the general. Sheldon did drop a bit, though, going from 33 percent last night to 32.9 today.  

In some good news for Democrats, U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA, 1) continued to dominate the field (she's in first with 51.55) while the imagined GOP November challenger, former Microsoft exec Pedro Celis, remained in third place behind a Tea Party Republican, Robert Sutherland. Celis did gain some ground, though. He's now at 15.49 to Sutherland's 15.77.  

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