Another Gregoire–Rossi Poll

Fresh on the heels of the Survey USA poll I wrote about this morning, Rasmussen Reports has just released their head-to-head poll pitting Washington state Gov. Christine Gregoire against her Republican challenger, Dino Rossi.

The Rasmussen poll surveyed 500 likely voters on June 9th. Gregoire led Rossi 50% to 43%, with another 2% selecting “other” and 5% who are not sure. The +7% advantage that Gregoire has in this poll is about double that of the SurveyUSA poll (which was taken from the 7th to the 9th of June).

What are the chances that Gregoire would win an election today, based just on this poll? Let’s figure it out using the computational equivalent of a sledge hammer. I simulated a million gubernatorial elections of 500 voters each election. Each voter in each election had a 50.0% chance of voting for Gregoire, a 43.0% chance of voting for Rossi, and a 7.0% chance of voting for neither.

Gregoire won 949,070 times and Rossi won 2,829 times. In other words, the poll results suggest that, for an election held now, Gregoire would have a 95.2% probability of winning the election and Rossi would win with a 4.8% probability.

Here is the distribution of outcomes (percentage of votes) from the million simulated elections (Rossi victories are those to the left of the red “tie” line, Gregoire victories are those to the right):

Gregoire--Rossi Rasmussen June Poll

Since the Rasmussen and SurveyUSA polls were taken almost simultaneously using similar methods, it seems quite reasonable to combine the polls. Of the 1,137 pooled poll participants, 571 (or 50.2%) of them “voted” for Gregoire, 514 (or 215%) “voted” for Rossi and 52 (or 4.6%) choose neither. A million simulated gubernatorial elections later, Gregoire wins 952,104 times and Rossi wins 44,749 times. The pooled set of polls suggest that, if an election were held now, Gregoire would have a 95.5% probability of winning and Rossi would have a 4.5% probability of winning.

You may be wondering why Gregoire’s probability of winning actually increase when the Rasmussen poll is pooled with the SurveyUSA poll. The answer is that Gregoire percent of the vote actually decreases slightly in the pooled analysis. In the Rasmussen poll she led by 50%/(50% + 43%) = 53.8%. In the combined poll, she leads by 50.2%/(50.2% + 45.2%) = 52.6%. But even with a smaller estimated fraction of the vote, there is more certainty that her lead is real (95.2% for the Rasmussen versus 95.5% for the pooled polls). This is because the certainty is more strongly affected by the larger sample size in the pooled polls.

Here is the distribution of outcomes from the simulated elections (combined polls):

Gregoire Rossi pooled June polls

As I suggested previously, it is unlikely that Gregoire’s lead is an artifact of sampling error. Now, with seven consecutive polls in a row in which Gregoire leads Rossi, it is even more certain that she is truly in the lead.

(Cross-posted at Hominid Views.)


  1. 2

    Steve spews:

    Even without my vote (Save our Sonics, Remember in November, and all that), Gregoire will win quite handily over Dino “I’m BIAW’s lackey” Rossi -although I admit that he might be the one to go along with my idea of sacrficing the WSCTC and the freeway park for a couple of northbound freeway lanes.

  2. 3

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    2. Steve spews:
    Even without my vote (Save or Sonics,

    Have you ever posted under the name of Coz? Ever posted in the Laker’s newsgroup?

  3. 5

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Rossi isn’t a plausible candidate. He has no executive experience and was only a 1-term legislator. His transportation plan is the work of an amateur. He’s a political hobbyist, not a seasoned leader like Gregoire.

  4. 8

    The Real Mark spews:

    Roadkill @ 5

    You’re either stupid, a liar or both.

    How could Rossi be a one-termer if he served from 1996 to 2004?

    He was also chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee and balanced the budget without raising taxes.

    In other words, he did more good in government in his eight years than you did in a lifetime.

  5. 10

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    @8: I agree that attacks citing “lack of experience” are highly overblown, and I look at issues and my judgement regarding character. Thus I assume you will never cite that same canard regarding Obama or Darcy, or am I mistaken?

    As for recent tax increases on liquor, tobacco, and estates…I agree with all three, especially the last one which didn’t go nearly far enough.

  6. 11

    eponymous coward spews:

    He was also chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee and balanced the budget without raising taxes.

    You mean the budget where the first Powerpoint slide during Rossi’s presentation was “Following the Governor’s Lead”?

    I think it be fairer to say that Governor Gary Locke balanced the budget without raising taxes, and Rossi assisted in this, seeing as that’s how Rossi himself presented it at the time, before he decided he’d hog the credit as part of a run for Governor.

  7. 12

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    Darryl’s analysis indicates no other outcome than the fact that Rossi will be roadkill in November.

    Perhaps that math genius, Pudder, will set demonstrate otherwise. Somehow I doubt it.

  8. 13

    VolksMeinung spews:

    Wow, homo-nad views does it again. Yes I’ve read the book “How to lie with statistics too”

    You simulated non real world examples from a poll who’s sampling is poor and came up with what? Junk, that’s what. The sad thing is that however horrible the Republican brand is at the moment, and Gregoire’s lead in the poll is statistically insignificant. Now THAT says something.

  9. 14

    Daddy Love spews:

    Rossi was at least a two-termer in the Legislature, given that he served as both a State Representative and State Senator.

    That doesn’t mean he was any good, and God help me, I voted for him for Senator because his opponent was a hopeless boob, AND because back then I believed his “I’m a moderate” bullshit. Bull-shit he is.

    But Governor? His adherents are victims of wishful thinking. But what Republican isn’t?

  10. 15

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    Has Gregoire had any experience outside of government (not counting any summer jobs she had as a teenager or college student)?

    I’d definitely like to see some of these professional politicos removed from the government payroll.

    Who are the Libertarians running for gov this time? Maybe I’ll vote for whomever that person is instead of the same old Dem-Rep shit.

  11. 16

    Daddy Love spews:

    13 vm

    Gregoire’s lead in the poll is statistically insignificant

    You may be as stupid as you sound, but I prefer to believe, for your sake, that you are just an optimist. Anyway, Darryl has just proved to you above that her +7% lead is anything BUT “statistically insignificant.” But you hold onto that hope, little fella!

  12. 17

    Daddy Love spews:

    15 PI

    Yeah, how could we ever think that someone who has been Assistant Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General, Director of the Washington State Department of Ecology, Attorney General, and Governor might be any good at running state government, and particularly, better than someone who has been unemployed for four years. That unemployed guy is lookin’ damn good to you, isn’t he?

    Yeah, talk to me when Rob McKenna runs and you’re telling us all about how important his “experience” is.

  13. 18


    After this election, Rossi’s political career will be in the dumper with Nethercutt, and Sexual Harrassment Panda (“…and that makes me a saaaaaaaaaaad Panda!”).

  14. 19

    The Real Mark spews:

    PTBA @ 10

    Making the jump from freshman Senator to President of the United States is MUCH greater than Rossi going from 2 terms in state Leg. (w/chair of Ways/Means) to Governor. Darcy going from head of a homeowners’ association to US Congress is also a massive jump.

  15. 20


    re 19: Why should anyone listen to a thing you say? For years your administration had a Supreme Court packed with ‘strict constructionists’ and an Attorney General who thought the Constitution a ‘quaint’ document.

    And you were fervently in favor of BOTH, simultaneously!

    You are insane and a public nuisance.

  16. 21

    Ron Stevens spews:

    These polls are an excercise in futility;they only signify a snapshot of the present;as well
    as a propaganda item for your particular ideology.

  17. 22


    Ron Stevens @ 21,

    When you learn to read someday, you will figure out that the poll analysis was explicitly presented as a “snapshot of the present.”

    Man…you Wingnuts are thick as Molasses in a 1 degree K freezer.

  18. 23

    Richard Pope spews:

    Darryl — you need to get this one right for once. Dino Rossi is NOT running as a “Republican” candidate this time. Instead, he has filed under the “G.O.P. Party”. The only “Republican” challengers this time around are John W. Aiken, Jr. and Javier O. Lopez.

    We need to help define this new-fangled “G.O.P. Party” that Rossi has professed loyalty to.

    If we could find a couple of oddballs to run for Pres/VP on the “G.O.P. Party” ticket in this state, 11 registered voters to sign up as presidential elector candidates (those names do not appear on the ballot, but are technically the people who are being voted on), get the signatures of a thousand registered voters, and meet a few other technical legal requirements — there would be a “G.O.P. Party” oddball presidential ticket for Rossi to associate himself with come November.

    This would get a helluva lot of publicity, and Rossi would come off looking like a total dumbass for opportunisticly abandoning the “Republican Party” and trying to invent a new “G.O.P. Party” to make himself look better. Instead of associating himself with McCain — who does have SOME respectability and credibility — he would instead be associated with some totally off the wall “G.O.P. Party” platform.

  19. 26


    As I suggested previously, it is unlikely that Gregoire’s lead is an artifact of sampling error. Now, with seven consecutive polls in a row in which Gregoire leads Rossi, it is even more certain that she is truly in the lead.

    Right, just like she was several points ahead in 2004. She had a DOUBLE-DIGIT LEAD going into the 2004 race. If 2004 is any judge of the polls’ accuracy, she needs a double-digit lead in October 2008 to have a chance of winning of November.

  20. 27

    Rosi is screwed spews:

    Rosi has no chance. Those polls are based on ‘likely’ voters and don’t account for all the new registered voters this year (vastly Democratic) who didn’t vote before and aren’t usually counted in polling. If the huge primary turn outs are even a partial indication of the voter turnout, the 50.01% to 49.99% split last time will likely be 55% to 45% for the Democrats this year. I just don’t see ANY national (much LESS Washington State) trend toward massive Republican turnout or love this year. Maybe it will happen in the next few months…but not likely.

  21. 28

    bz123 spews:

    Answer this, what has Gregoire done for this state beside raise the cost of living and lower the quality of life. Increase in taxes, promises never kept. Everytime you turn around its another disaster. More money for very little return. What has the 9.5 cent gas tax done for the state. One can only pray she is a one termer, the people of Washington can’t afford her leadership.

  22. 29

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @8 “How could Rossi be a one-termer if he served from 1996 to 2004?”

    He didn’t serve from 1996 to 2004, and he didn’t serve 2 terms. He served 1 term and part of a 2nd term.

    “He was also chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee and balanced the budget without raising taxes.”

    By kicking 40,000 poor kids off health care — this is a reason to elect him governor??

    “In other words, he did more good in government in his eight years than you did in a lifetime.”

    Bullshit. I didn’t kick any poor kids off health care, and I didn’t raise taxes either.

  23. 30

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @9 Yes, they were. As always, you’re blowing gas out of your ass without knowing what you’re talking about.

    My job required plenty of math, most of it with $ signs in front of my answers, and the answers had to be right every time. And they were. For 30 years.

    Your request for permission to kiss my cute cottontail is granted. Put a dollar in the Poor Box and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.

  24. 32

    michael spews:


    Try not using loaded questions and maybe someone will take you up on your offer.

    Did you go to college? I didn’t and I’m smarter than you are.

  25. 33

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @14 When and where (what district?) did Rossi serve as a state representative? I’m not aware of him having served in the House. To the best of my knowledge, his only legislative service was as the District 5 state senator from 1997 until he resigned in 2004.

  26. 34

    michael spews:

    Pudge, I’m going to enjoy laughing at folks like you in November.

    But, I’ve got a question for ya. When us Dem’s take the Presidency, have over 60% of the senate and house and we keep Gregoire in the governors mansion are you going to go Gordon Kahl on us?

  27. 35

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @15 “Has Gregoire had any experience outside of government (not counting any summer jobs she had as a teenager or college student)?”

    Government experience is the most relevant experience for running a public agency or a state government, and Gregoire has far more government experience than Rossi does. Being a legislator for a few years as a member of the out-of-power party doesn’t begin to compare with Gregoire’s experience as both frontline staff (clerk typist and social worker) and executive (director of Ecology, 3-term attorney general, and governor).

    “I’d definitely like to see some of these professional politicos removed from the government payroll.”

    That’s stupid. That’s like saying we should hire a dishwasher to run the Hilton Hotel chain or hire a truck driver to run General Motors. Ridiculous! I don’t want amateurs in high office. See, e.g., Jesse Ventura.

    Being governor is not an entry-level job. It requires substantial executive and political experience beyond what Rossi has.

    Gregoire is highly qualified; Rossi has no executive experience, and his political experience is no more relevant than that of any other short-termer legislator. Remember, being a state senator is a part-time job; they are in session only a couple months year, don’t run manage anything, and don’t supervise any personnel.

  28. 36

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @19 Rossi didn’t graduate from Harvard Law School nor was he a successful Microsoft executive. Your insinuation that his experience and credentials are comparable to Obama’s or Darcy’s is silly. He’s a small-time real estate agent who worked for a crooked broker who went to prison for fraud. Intelligent voters could overlook his lack of credentials and relevant experience if he was exceptionally bright and put forth compelling ideas for improving state government, but the only thing he has offered is vague promises to cut taxes and an absurdly unrealistic transportation scheme which demonstrates just how amateurish and poorly thought out his ideas really are. He is so poorly qualified to be governor that only irresponsible people like you would vote for him. Gregoire, by contrast, is a compelling candidate who is unquestionably the most dynamic and productive governor our state has had since Dan Evans, who was the last viable gubernatorial candidate to be produced by Washington’s Republican Party. Every GOP candidate since Evans has been a tinhorn like Spellman, a greenhorn like Rossi, or a lunatic like Craswell. Republicans can’t win in this state because they have crappy candidates, and because they drove all the reasonable people out of their party and have no one left except greedy developers, redneck riffraff, and starry-eyed fundies waiting to get beamed up to Heaven.

  29. 38

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @23 “some totally off the wall “G.O.P. Party” platform”

    Why don’t we save them time and effort by writing it for them? This is easy because we know what it’ll say:

    “1. Kids should be taught how to shoot guns beginning at age 4.

    “2. FBI agents can be shot if they go on private property to serve an arrest warrant.

    “3. Taxes and paper currency will be abolished and government expenses will be paid by mining gold on public land.

    “4. Flouridated water is a communist tool for mind control.

    “5. Repeal the Civil Rights Act, execute gays, and send anyone who can’t speak English back to Mexico.

    “6. Reinstate sedition laws.

    “7. Eliminate land use regulations.

    “8. Pay for public schools by using volunteer teachers and charging students tuition.

    “9. No one can serve in the legislature unless he is a farmer.

    “10. From now on, women are the chattel property of their husbands.

    “11. Only members of evangelical churches can vote.

    “12. Dog owners are no longer required to license their pets and all municipal ordinances prohibiting pit bulls are repealed.”

  30. 39

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @28 “Answer this, what has Gregoire done for this state … what has the 9.5 cent gas tax done for the state.”

    I’m glad you asked!

    For starters, you could go to WSDOT’s web site for a list of over 100 projects the gas tax is paying for.

    Without raising general taxes, Governor Gregoire turned a $2.2 billion deficit into a surplus and created a Rainy Day Fund for future economic downturns.

    Under her leadership, Washington has gained over 200,000 new jobs, and Forbes and Fortune magazines rate our state among the top 5 states as business-friendly. Washington is also consistently rated as having one of the best managed state governments in the nation.

    Without raising general taxes, Governor Gregoire funded voter-passed initiatives to raise teacher pay and reduce classroom sizes, invested in early childhood education, and increased the number of spaces available to entering students in state colleges and universities.

    Without raising general taxes, Governor Gregoire restored health care for the 40,000 poor kids that Senator Rossi kicked off health care — and provided health care for an additional 54,000 of our state’s neediest children.

    What has Rossi done in the last 4 years besides talk about building more roads by gutting state government?

  31. 40

    michael spews:

    #1 The gun nuts seem to be starting them at 5 these days.

    #2 I saw more than a few signs of that nature up north of Spokane in the mid-90’s.

    #3 Not too far off from standard Militia prattle. Doesn’t Ron Paul want to go back to the gold standard?

    #4 The Christian right does seem to have issues with fluoridated water.

    #5 Sounds like what the GOP sounds like when they think everyone in the room thinks like them. Except for the gay part, most don’t seem to care. But they don’t think you can say that in public without being looked down on. Being looked down on seems to be the worst sin of all to the 30-40 something suburban Republican. They seem rather stuck in high school to me.

    #6 Didn’t Bush already do that?

    #7 See # 6

    #8 Nah, it would have to read close public schools completely.

    #9 Farmers live in rural areas, work hard and get dirty. Todays Republican model is a squeaky clean suburbanite who works as little as possible like Mike! and Dino.

    #10 See #6

    #11 Having been in a few evangelical mega-churches I doubt this would fly. Many of the “believers” are more a part of social scene. It’s more high-school pep rally than church.

    Change #11 to property owners with at least an AA degree and they’ll get behind it for sure.

  32. 41

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @28 One more thing. Since Gregoire took office in 2005, gas taxes that pay for public highways have gone up a few cents a gallon. In the same time, oil companies have tacked on about $2 a gallon to the cost of gasoline. Why are you criticizing the gas tax but not the oil companies?

  33. 42

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Here is what the 9 1/2 cent gas tax, together with some fee increases, is paying for:

    At-Risk Structures – $2.98 billion for 30 projects

    Safety Investments – 279 million for 106 projects

    Choke Points and Congestion – $2.95 billion for 69 projects

    Multi Modal Improvements – $94.8 million for 8 projects

    Environmental – $108 million for 21 projects, plus funding for future fish barrier removal projects

    Freight Mobility and Economic – $542 million for 35 projects

    At-Risk Structures – $2.98 billion for 30 projects

    The “At-Risk Structures” category includes $2.98 billion to rehabilitate or replace 30 existing bridges, including $2 billion for replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct and $500 million for replacing the 520 bridge.

    The safety investments include fixing some of the worst locations for frequent accidents. These projects include guardrail replacement, replacing intersections with interchanges, building passing lanes, installing lights at county road intersections to prevent night time accidents, widening roads, installing sidewalks and pedestrian bridges, and installing 73 miles of cable median barriers to prevent median cross-over accidents.

    The multi modal improvements involve improving Amtrak passenger rail service by upgrading track and equipment.

    The environmental projects include replacing old, badly-designed culverts that block fish migration, slide and erosion control projects, preventing dischage of roadway stormwater runoff into streams and wetlands, and building freeway noise barriers.

    The freight mobility and economic projects include replacing 6 bridges and other improvements to facilitate freight movement.

    Choke points and congestion projects will eliminate bottlenecks on highways and improve traffic flow by adding lanes, improving interchanges, and building HOV lanes at 48 congested locations. These projects will add 125 miles of new lanes and replace 27 old bridges.

  34. 43

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The most important thing to remember about the 9 1/2 cent gas tax is the pump prices are determined by supply and demand, not taxes. Lowering the gas tax would not reduce the cost of gasoline to consumers by a single penny. The money would simply go to oil company profits instead of road projects. Fools like “bz123″ want us to give the money paying for the projects listed @42 above to oil companies — we would pay the same price for gasoline and get nothing for the 9 1/2 cents. How stupid can people be? That is stupid, damn stupid!

  35. 44

    Daddy Love spews:

    re: the 9 cent gas tax increase, Joel Connelly’s column says you’re an idiot if you can’t see with your own eyes “the recently completed second Tacoma Narrows Bridge, the newly finished Everett HOV lane, new Interstate 90 passing lanes east of Ellensburg, a just-widened stretch of state Route 9 and a new Echo Lake interchange on state Route 522 in Snohomish County.”

    It’s all there, wingnuts. But as usual you must believe your ideology before the facts. It’s why we don’t elect you fools.

  36. 45

    ByeByeGOP spews:

    Why answer the inbred righties’ questions about our great Governor? They won’t proffer one reason why we should vote for the traitors, cowards and child rapists running on the GOP ticket.

    We don’t need a reason to support our Governor other than the alternative is a group of traitors, cowards and liars!

  37. 47


    michael: shrug. I am just waiting for someone to show me why we should trust the polls now, when they were off by 10+ points in Gregoire’s favor in October 2004.

    I won’t hold my breath.

  38. 48

    michael spews:


    I don’t trust the polls either, but there’s plenty of other evidence that us Dem’s are going to win big this year.

  39. 49


    michael: what evidence? The “evidence” I love most is that the party in power in a bad economy loses. Except the party in power in both DC and in Washington especially is … the Democratic Party. I know the Dems will try to blame Bush for everything, but I don’t think people are that stupid, especially when it comes to Washington’s budget problems …

  40. 50

    jsa on beacon hill spews:

    For post #49, I’d like to award pudge the “bubble boy of the year award” for wishful thinking with no empirical evidence behind it.

    We puncture your daydream with the following tangibles.

    1) A Congressional seat (MS-1) which had been in Republican hands for 11 years now isn’t.

    2) Real Clear Politics collects various polls. Look at them for a while and you’ll see a pattern. McCain is up by a lot in Utah, a bit in Texas (about as much as Gregoire is up in the Rassumussen poll above), and not very many other places.

    3) My favorites are the Iowa Electronic Markets. This is where people get to throw down real money purchasing election futures. At no point since 2006 have futures for a Republican been in “positive territory”. Right now, you can buy a McCain future which will return a dollar if John McCain goes to the White House for a mere $0.39. Yep. 39 cents. If McCain wins, you get a net profit of $0.41 per share.

    Since you seem pretty sure of the outcome, I’d throw down a few thousand right now. It’ll be the easiest money you’ll make all year!

  41. 51


    jsa: I guess you aren’t paying attention. I showed how the polls in question in this particular post have a history of favoring Gregoire by 10 points greater than reality. I even linked to evidence.

    And so what? Each Congressional election is different. Last year, the Republican picked up a few special election seats … oh yeah, and a Republican governor of Louisiana, only the third Republican to hold that office since 1877.

    And jeez, well, since a futures market picks Obama, well, that settles it! Yawn.

    Note that most of your evidence backs up what CNN/Gallup refers to as the “enthusiasm gap,” which while important, is not a predictor of elections, and actually impacts all forms of polling. This is a big reason why the exit polls picked Kerry in 2004: Democrats were much more enthusiastic. They wanted to talk to pollsters, they did more to get their guy elected, they were more involved, etc.

    But Bush won more votes in 2004 than any President in U.S. history.

    So yes, the polls will continue to favor Democrats. But as in the past, I wouldn’t bet that it means the Democrats will win.

    Don’t let me convince you though. We have awhile to wait until we find out for sure.

  42. 52

    GBS spews:

    What a needle dick you are!!!

    PS: Cindy Sheehan was right and Bush fucking lied about war. The deaths of all our heroes are on the back of Bush, Republicans and their supporters like you.

    You do more good for al Qeada than anything possibly good for America.

    I mean that with all sincerity. You and people like you are the useful idiot terrorists soldiers in our midst.

  43. 53

    GBS spews:

    PS: Pudge, care to back up your shit talk with a sizeable wager on the presidential election this fall?

    I’ve got $2,500 I’m willing to let Goldy hold if you’ll do the same.