Afternoon Jolt

Today's winner: Fuse Washington, the lefty political group that introduced John "The Rape Thing" Koster to the world

Fuse, a scrappy Seattle-based group that works to promote progressive candidates and causes, posted a YouTube video yesterday showing Koster, the Republican candidate in the 1st Congressional District, dismissing women who become pregnant as a result (or, to use his more judgmental term,  as"the consequence") of rape and want to terminate their pregnancy.

Allowing women to abort pregnancies that result from rapes, Koster said, is just "putting more violence onto a woman's body."

The video, just one of many recent examples in which Republican male politicians reveal their obsession with controlling women's bodies, went viral yesterday, appearing, among many other places, on: Slate, the Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Talking Points Memo, the International Business Times, BuzzFeed, and Politico

Today, Koster did Fuse another favor, keeping the story alive for another day by issuing a (frankly, stunning) statement saying Koster "has nothing to be ashamed of here," adding that Koster had fought to jail "horribly violent" sex offenders when he was in the state legislature (but not nonviolent ones?) and accusing Fuse of selectively editing the tape to make him look bad.

"To be clear, we did not edit, manipulate, rearrange, or change Koster’s words in any way. Koster’s comments about 'the rape thing' in our video are exactly as he stated them." In a statement, Fuse spokesman Collin Jergens said, "To be clear, we did not edit, manipulate, rearrange, or change Koster’s words in any way. Koster’s comments about 'the rape thing' in our video are exactly as he stated them on October 28. In addition, we provided a copy of the raw audio file to the Associated Press to verify its authenticity."

Today's Loser: Jay Inslee. 

Inslee may have come out on top in the new KCTS 9 Washington Poll—he's ahead of his Republican rival Rob McKenna by about 1.7 percentage points, 47.2 to 45.5. But there are some other numbers in the poll that could be prophetic, particularly in a race where Inslee's advantage (or more accurately, McKenna's disadvantage) is that Inslee comes across as the nice guy you want to get a beer with while brainy McKenna can come off a bit cold. (Indeed, an early October KING 5 poll had Inslee up 14 points when it came to likability.)

Maybe it was McKenna's Gangnam Style video, but lo and behold, the numbers show that—after all the ads—McKenna has a higher favorability rating right now than Inslee, besting him by 6.3 percentage points, 49.1 to 42.8. 

These numbers change our analysis of this race, particularly our confidence that Inslee was going to win.