Afternoon Jolt.

 Today's First Winner: 1st Congressional District Democratic candidate Suzan DelBene. 

On the heels of Republican 1st Congressional District candidate John Koster's  insensitive comments defending a complete ban on abortion even in cases of rape, the Washington Post has moved the 1st District race from "tossup" to "leans Democratic" category. "In a weird twist of fate, [1st Congressional District candidate John Koster] provided himself with his very own October Surprise." 

"Republican John Koster’s recent comments about rape and abortion weren’t as harmful as Todd Akin’s or Richard Mourdock’s," the Post's Aaron Blake writes. "But they still beg the question: Why would any candidate talk about this issue when they don’t have to?"

Viet Shelton, a spokesman for Koster's Democratic opponent Suzan DelBene, tells PubliCola, "John Koster has been doing everything he possibly can to avoid talking about his extreme positions. But in a weird twist of fate, he provided himself with his very own October Surprise." 

As we've noted, the Republican Party in Washington state is increasingly isolated from the political mainstream on social issues like abortion and gay marriage. If Koster ends up losing this true swing district thanks to his Akin moment, the soul searching should begin in earnest in Bellevue (state GOP headquarters) next Wednesday.

Today's second winner: Ridesharing. 

Last year, the state passed legislation passed last year to allow peer-to-peer carsharing (that is, allowing people who don't have cars to rent cars from individuals). Although no peer-to-peer carsharing companies have emerged in the state so far, another option—peer-to-peer ridesharing—hit Seattle this week. 

The concept: You have a car. I need a ride. You're going where I'm going. I hitch a ride with you, paying you whatever we agree is fair.

The service is offered by a San Francisco-based company called SideCar, which launched in that city in February. Members (drivers and riders) connect via iPhone or Android app; all drivers have to have a clean driving history and no criminal record, and passengers can share their physical location with friends while they're using the service, for safety. 

Twenty percent of driver "donations" go back to the company as revenue. 

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