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New poll: Washington Senate race ‘could go either way’

Post by lesblumenthal on Oct. 29, 2010 at 3:52 pm with 21 Comments »
October 29, 2010 5:35 pm

WASHINGTON – The Washington state Senate race is going down to the wire, with a McClatchy-Marist poll released Friday showing incumbent Democratic Sen. Patty Murray maintaining a 1 percentage point lead over Republican challenger Dino Rossi among likely voters.

Murray was ahead 49-48 in the poll taken Tuesday through Thursday, a difference within the poll’s margin of error.

“The bottom line is this is a race that could go either way,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., which conducted the survey.

A McClatchy-Marist poll two weeks ago also showed Murray with a 1 percentage point lead – an edge she’s maintained even as independent groups have flooded Washington state with nearly $18.3 million in advertising.

Among registered voters, Murray’s lead was a little wider, at 47-44. But Miringoff said likely voters, who will most certainly vote, are a better gauge.

Another poll released Friday gave Murray a six-point lead. The KCTS 9/KPLU/ Washington poll showed Murray with a 51-45 lead among likely voters.

“Patty Murray appears to be ahead in this contest,” said University of Washington pollster Matt Barreto, who conducted the poll. “I think you’re going to see that play out on election night.”
But since the race began the polls have varied widely, with some giving Rossi a slight lead, others giving Murray a double-digit lead and a bunch showing it’s too close to call.

The Washington state Senate race, along with ones in California and Nevada, has attracted considerable attention nationally as political analysts increasingly believe the outcome could determine control of the Senate.

Independent groups, including party committees and those linked to big business and unions, have spent more on the Washington Senate race than in all but three other Senate races — Colorado, Pennsylvania and Illinois, according to the Sunlight Foundation, a non-partisan, non-profit watchdog group that tracks independent expenditures using Federal Election Commission records.

Nearly 54 percent of the independent expenditures have been used to oppose Murray and 46 percent to oppose Rossi. Miringoff said the advertising has driven up the negatives of both candidates.

“That means there won’t be a lot of change,” he said. “At this point it is not about convincing voters to change their minds, it’s about convincing them to show up.”

The latest McClatchy-Marist poll showed that 51 percent of Murray’s supporters are enthusiastic about her candidacy, up 7 percentage points from the earlier poll. Enthusiasm among Rossi’s supporters remains at 56 percent.

“There is a bit of a rallying among Murray supporters,” Miringoff said.

The poll showed Murray running strong among likely voters in King County, 62-37. The question is whether that will be enough to overcome Rossi’s solid leads in greater Puget Sound, 52-45, the Olympic Peninsula and southwest Washington, 54-44 and eastern Washington 57-36.

Women favor Murray 52-44 while men favor Rossi 52-46.

With voting already under way in Washington state, Miringoff said those who’ve already voted pretty much mirror the broader population of likely voters.

“You shouldn’t play poker with early voters in Washington state,” he said. “They don’t show their hand.”

President Barack Obama still does better in Washington than most states. Though he won Washington state by more than 17 percentage points in the 2008 presidential contest, 47 percent of the state’s likely voters approve of the job he’s been doing and 47 percent disapprove.

When it comes to the economy, Washington state voters are optimistic about the future. Forty-one percent say the worst is yet to come and 48 percent say the worst is past, the poll found.

Washington state voters also felt, by a margin of 59-34, that Obama inherited the nation’s economic mess rather than caused it.

With a history of close races in Washington state and the fact that many mail in ballots mailed by election day aren’t counted until days later, Miringoff said it could be days or weeks before control of the Senate is decided.

“This could go into extra innings,” he said.

Leave a comment Comments → 21
  1. First_Lefty says:

    Don’t trust this poll. Rasmussen has the anti-abortion blogs saying Rossi is up by 1%, thus winning.

  2. First_Lefty says:

    Actually, aside from losing seniority, it could be kinda fun to see this end up in countless recounts and swear in Rossi around about July.

    (Now watch the Conservatives deny this historical value of this)

  3. another left wing media hit piece to suppress the votes for Rossi, don’t you believe it make sure you vote. I for one haven’t seen many murray signs around meaning of two things shes not worried or the money dried up.

  4. in any way the money drained from the democrats defending a sure thing a year ago, means they cant use the money somewhere else! welcome to the minority party!

    dump corrupt patty!

  5. paulandsoon says:

    The final tally depends on who counts the ballots; I hope it won’t be deja vu, again..

  6. Whatever1214 says:

    Move Blumenthal to the opinion page and stop pretending he is a journalist.

  7. lewiswells says:

    Blumenthal is to journalism what Rossi and Murray are to politics.

  8. bbobtee27 says:

    remember by the time they count all the ballots the dems find in the corner under the cleaning supplies and those of the dead and convicted felons, Rossi will surely lose again, unavoidable in this rag tag state

  9. First_Lefty says:

    The other day, a Conservative reader claimed Murray voted to increase taxes 250 times. This is a GOP tactic.

    From Factcheck.org (Angle claimed Reid raised taxes 300 times):

    So, how many times did Reid vote to raise taxes? We found 51 of the 300 votes could fairly be labeled as such. And that’s being generous. That number includes, for example, votes on bills that raised taxes for some and lowered taxes for others. And it includes six votes on GOP amendments to the stimulus bill — which overall contained $280 billion in tax relief.

    Karl Rove’s money machine is running ads in North Dakota talking about their problems with unemployment and blaming the Democratic Congressman. Unemployment in ND? Less than 4%.

    The list goes on and on.

    2/3 of Americans think Federal taxes increased in the past two years. They decreased.

    Over half of Americans think the economy is shrinking. It has shown steady growth for over a year.

    A majority of Americans think TARP money will never be returned. Almost all of it already has been returned.

    If you think that money can’t buy a train of thought, you just aren’t paying attention

  10. Kevindot1 says:

    Thanks for the factual post, First_Lefty. If I could “like” your post here, I would!

  11. the3rdpigshouse says:

    It’ almost time to start opening the boxes containing the socialist democrat ballots in King County for the dead, nonexistent, & duplicate voters that are sure to appear!!

    Pretty sad when Seattle has become a national joke on corrupt elections!!

  12. excuse me lefty but tarp was bush, heres a fact from Seattle times oct 6th

    WASHINGTON — Lobbyists have given $666,000 to Sen. Patty Murray’s reelection efforts since 2009, making her the second-highest recipient of the industry’s political contributions among all members of Congress, according to a new analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics.

    Only Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid took in more money from lobbyists during the current election cycle, the analysis found.

    As we reported previously, lobbyists are the biggest donors to Murray’s campaign and to M-PAC, her leadership political-action committee. Lawyers are a close second, with $664,000 in contributions. Through end of July, Murray has raised a total of $13.1 million for her reelection and PAC.

  13. Seattle Times report that at least 17 former Murray staffers have gone into lobbying. Some of them have cashed in on the connection by securing federal earmarks through Murray on behalf of client companies.

    Murray’s campaign has noted that Rossi has held fundraisers hosted by lobbyists and hedge fund managers.

  14. yabetchya says:

    Get out and vote !

  15. CrazyJim says:

    We can thank the corporate thug judges on the high court for sucking the air out of the room with all this money. I wish I could forward all these robo-calls to their chambers.

  16. Yabetchya is the only entry worth reading. The majority of the other entries lends credibility to why the founding limited the right to vote.

  17. I am so sick of Rossi as the only option to the left in this state that I am tempted to simply not vote for either. Then again, if he is so close, it might be fun to send this clown to DC. Six and out!

  18. EatonvilleTaxPayer says:

    Folks, we only have 2 choices here: Murray or Rossi. Whatever happened in the primary is done and over and perhaps our favorite candidate will rise again to run another day, but for now we MUST VOTE.

    Washington is one of a handful of swing states. In order to balance the scales in DC we need to reduce the Dems. The entire nation is depending on WA voters to help boost Republican seats. Let’s not disappoint them and let’s be included in the states celebrating when the votes are tallied up.

    I don’t want Murray in there. So, I will be voting AGAINST MURRAY. Mailing my ballot today and I WILL BE VOTING FOR ROSSI.

    Whatever you do….get out there and vote. Let your voice be heard. EVERY vote counts as we well know from previous Rossi elections.

  19. Proconsul8 says:

    Tomorrow should be sunny. Perhaps the socialist zombies and vampires will stay holed up and Dino can actually win an election where the dead and undead don’t vote.

  20. newshound100 says:

    Dino will have it by 3 points (90,000) voters

  21. My ballot is filled out and I will be dropping it off at PC elections office in the morning.

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