OLYMPIA, WA: Democrats and Republicans are waging a fierce partisan battle over the governor's seat in Washington State, with both sides struggling to claim the moral high ground.
Last week, Chelan County Superior Court began hearing arguments in the Republicans' lawsuit to overturn the results of November's gubernatorial election, which Democratic candidate Christine Gregoire won after two recounts, and by the slimmest of margins - 129 votes out of about 3 million cast.
Republicans are now demanding another recount, insisting that their candidate, Dino Rossi, would win if alleged illegal votes were purged from the final count.
But Chris Vance, chairman of the Washington State Republican Party, said it was no mistake that the party, not the candidate, was making the demand.
The state GOP has kept Rossi out of the spotlight, said Vance. The party wanted Rossi speaking about public policy, while the state party would be the "attack dog."
"We had to be the ones responding to the Democrats," added Vance. "We needed to be the bad cop. But we have the facts on our side."
Meanwhile, the Democrats are focusing their messaging on the obvious - that Gregoire is the governor.
"We are making sure the voters of Washington know what [Gregoire] is doing as governor, and what [Rossi] has been doing to drag this out, and that he's fighting for his own interests," said Amanda Fuchs, spokesperson for the Washington State Democratic Party.
Democrats are reminding the media and voters that the election results were certified, as well as what Gregoire is doing to improve healthcare and schools.
The Democrats are also busy trying to deflate the Republicans' position, arguing that the Republicans' numbers don't add up, and wouldn't change the election outcome.
According to The New York Times, a recent independent poll shows that a majority, by nearly two-to-one, want to accept the November vote instead of holding a new election.