Close, but not that close


One feature of the four-year political struggle between Gov. Chris Gregoire and almost-Gov. Dino Rossi has been an abundance of suspect and self-serving opinion surveys.

At last comes a poll, albeit with a few weeks under its belt, that surprised its takers.


In a trial heat, the incumbent Democrat had 43 percent, her Republican challenger received 41 percent, and 16 percent were undecided. The poll was based on interviews with 588 likely general election voters. It had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.

Joel quotes a poll that was commissioned back in November, but an Elway poll done much more recently shows the race to not be as close:

Seattle public opinion researcher Stuart Elway has released a good-news, bad-news poll on this year’s gubernatorial election rematch between Democratic incumbent Chris Gregoire and Republican challenger Dino Rossi.


The good news for Gregoire is that while she defeated Rossi by only 133 votes in the 2004 election, she now has a 13-percentage-point lead over him in voter preference. Only 35 percent of the respondents said they definitely or probably are inclined to vote for Rossi. Eighteen percent said they were undecided.

I’m not knocking Joel. I think the newspapers, to a degree, have a bias in favor of making this race closer than it really is. I’m not saying it’s a shoo-in for Chris Gregoire, but I think local media flacks are going to go out of their way to frame this thing positively for Rossi.

Looking back at ’06, Joel went out of his way to pitch Mike McGavick as an “Evans Republican”, or at least in a much more favorable light. He’s doing the same for Dino:

Republicans used to be big-time greens, passing the state’s first package of environmental laws. They helped forge the Washington wilderness bill and legislation protecting the Columbia Gorge. Lately, however, the party has demanded repeal of the Growth Management Act.

Rossi might do well to get with tradition.

Republicans haven’t been leaders on enviro-issues for decades. Guys like Rossi, totally in league with the looney tune base of his party, doesn’t think global warming is even a big deal:

Q: “Where are you on global warming?”

Rossi: (scoffs) “Where am I on global warming? The uh, I mean it’s clear that the earth, the earth is warming. That is clear, I mean, I think if we were to count how many feet of ice we were under many, many, tens and hundreds of millions of years ago – right where we are standing, right here – the earth has been warming and it will continue to warm. Apparently we’ve hit, we’ve hit the same temperature that it, that it had increased to in about, oh, twelve hundred AD I think it was. So, I mean, it was warmer then too. Uh, there are cycles.

There are things that we can do obviously to, to make sure that the environment is clean. That the air is clean, that the water’s clean, all those sorts of things that need to be done.

I think you also need to make sure that you look at the real science of this too and make sure that it makes sense. And so, uh, well-uh I-uh there’s still a lot of debate going on this, we see it out there and there’s going to be a big debate coming up in the next two, three years. Because there are, you know, I’ve listened to other scientists who disagree with, you know, I know – why are people even bothering about long term planning if Al Gore says the world is going to end in ten years or fifteen years – but there are a lot of scientists that disagree. So, I mean, we’ll see how this debate goes, but I don’t think anyone should panic at this point.” [Rossi at Port Orchard Chamber, 3/08/2007]

The guy’s a lightweight on all sorts of issues, especially the environment. While I understand Joel’s impulse to give Dino an out, it ain’t going to happen. “Evans Republicanism” is as dead as Julius Caesar, and Rossi has absolutely no inclination to run under that banner in ’08.


  1. 1


    shoo-in, Will, not shoe-in.

    The term has absolutely no relationship to footwear. Here’s your etymology lesson for today:

    shoo (v.)
    1622, “to drive away by calling ‘shoo,’ ” from the exclamation (1483), instinctive, cf. Ger. schu, It. scioia. Shoo-in “easy winner (especially in politics)” (1939) was originally a horse that wins a race by pre-arrangement (1928; the verb phrase shoo in in this sense is from 1908). Shoo-fly, admonition to a pest, was popularized by a Dan Bryant minstrel song c.1870, which launched it as a catch-phrase that, according to H.L. Mencken, “afflicted the American people for at least two years.” Shoo-fly pie is attested from 1935.

  2. 3


    Thanks for making the correction. You did use “it’s” correctly this time.


    Oh, on content — seems silly that Joel would highlight a poll that’s both old and less credible than Elway. Then again, in his previous column, Joel asserted that the 37th is the state’s most Democratic LD, when it’s crystal-clear that it’s actually the 43rd that merits the crown.

  3. 4

    YLB spews:

    The only policy Rossi will ever push is paving and building on every square inch of dirt within the borders of this state.

    It the policy of his masters at BIAW.

  4. 5

    YLB spews:

    And of course denying women contraception and the right to terminate a pregnancy.

    That comes in almost neck and neck with building and paving.

  5. 6

    slingshot spews:

    Factually, uh, there is uh, not much disagreement among uh, real scientists on the human-induced uh, carbon effects on global warming.

  6. 8

    Mad Lib spews:

    No one in business would seriously consdier gambling on Dino Rossi vs. the PROVEN, business friendly administraion of Gov. Gregoire.

    Forbes magazine sees Washington state as one of the MOST business friendly states. You know Forbes magazine, of the overtly “Liberal” Steve Forbes fame.

  7. 9

    slingshot spews:

    There will be a relentless Democratic slaughter of Repubs all the way down the ballot come November. Think about Rossi. Doesn’t he remind you of Romney in a slicked back, smart ass, game show host kinda way? And say goodbye to Third Reichert right now.

  8. 10



    Maybe it feels good to back Rossi, but there is a real challenge to his election.

    I think his compliance in the Clark County Hate Obama posting .. that is his and the party’s lack of an effort to find the turd who did this, is enough to make me unwilling to vote for him and CG’s belated endorsement of BHO is enough to convince me to vote for her.

    BUT, I do not have and I think few have enthusiasm for Gregoire. She needs to actually take strong positions on issues critical to our atate, specifically issues that differentiate the Dem form Rep party.

    I have listed some of these before so will not do it again, instead let me suggest the sort of campaign I think Rossi could run that could beat her .. assuming BHO is the candidate:

    How Rossi can win.

    1. true fiscal conservatism. A business oriented long term plan to support the State’s infrastructure and education.

    2. right to work. No, not the traditional blue collar issue but a white collar issue supporting the efforts of companies like MS and Costoc to resist Unions by making better and more stable jobs.

    3. Master teachers. The Dems are ties at the waste (pun intended) to the NEA/AFT. Most citizens believe in better pay for more qualified teachers.

    4. Immigration Reform. Identity cards, penalties for employers, support for high end immigration.

    These four issues are readily made into Republican issues and .. at least for this term .. they are issues CG has side stepped.

    He has one other tool that oculd endanger Darsi as well …
    DR could campaign as a Neocan. In my jargon a Neocan is a Republican who is free of the lunatic fringe. McCain and Schwarznegger are neocans. Strong support from Snegger would help DR a lot. The McCain candiacy, though ti will lose to BHO, could help Neocan candidates by emphasizing the “what works” approach of S’negger.

  9. 11

    The Pianist (a genuine musician) spews:

    Write this down, Dinophiles:

    The Bush Stench will doom a great many Republicans this time. Top o’ the ballot all the way down.

  10. 12

    ewp spews:

    Apparently Mr. Rossi didn’t get the memo, the GOP line is that the earth is only 10,000 years old. That’s when God created it, so I don’t know what he’s talking about when he refers to ice depth millions of years ago.

  11. 13

    ewp spews:

    I was recently talking to Mr. Rossi about that summer of 1200, boy wasn’t that a hot one. And up until then I had thought nothing could top the summer of 1196. As I recall, the summer of 1196 had a lot of rain, so I think that kept it feeling a bit cooler. But, yeah 1200, that was a hot one.

  12. 14

    correctnotright spews:

    @10: Seattle Jew: What planet did you visit lately?

    How can Rossi win?
    “true fiscal conservatism. A business oriented long term plan to support the State’s infrastructure and education.”

    Sorry – these are antithetical. Rossi will try to reduce coporate and individual taxes and thereby decrease the funds for education and infrastructure – all while trying to lock more people up for minor offences (increasing the demand for prisons).

    2. “right to work. No, not the traditional blue collar issue but a white collar issue supporting the efforts of companies like MS and Costoc to resist Unions by making better and more stable jobs.”

    What are you talking about here? We are already in an at-will state with almost no workers rights except for unions. People can be fireed at the whim of their boss – no matter what their performance.

    And this right to work would consist of…..while the blue collar jobs would do what????

    Gee- some of your fantasies amaze me.

  13. 15


    @14 correct

    You make the mistake of not beiong able to tell sound bites from realities.

    If Rossi were to do what Snegger did, that is work with the rational folks in the business community, he would be able to take her apart for ad hoc fiscal planning. OF course this would mean a rationalized tax structure but it is a lot easiert o make a raitonal proposal comng from the right than from the left.

    As for the right to work,the right to work is not JUST a freedom from Unions, it means a lto more than that. If Rossi, e.g. supprted job retraining, high end immigration, closing down on illegal workers, etc as a coherent policy .. business would supprt him and most of the public would too.

  14. 16

    Ekim spews:

    Rossi: “…but there are a lot of scientists that disagree.”

    I sure would like to know who these scientists are who disagree about global warming. I mean ones who aren’t on Exxon/Mobil’s payroll.

  15. 17

    ArtFart spews:

    “Republicans haven’t been leaders on enviro-issues for decades. Guys like Rossi, totally in league with the looney tune base of his party, doesn’t think global warming is even a big deal”

    Maybe after Rossi and his party embarrass themselves one more time, we’ll have the opportunity to see Toby Nixon run for governor.

  16. 18

    ewp spews:

    The following are a few of the scientists who are on the record as being global warming sceptics.
    Dr. No
    Dr. Strangelove
    Dr. Jekyll
    Lex Luthor
    Prof. Farnsworth
    Dr. Pepper
    Dr. Frankenstein
    Dr. Moreau
    The Nutty Professor

    And Doc Brown tried to actually go into the future to see what would happen, but wound up going back to the 1950′s.

  17. 19

    Daddy Love spews:

    I think Doc Savage was really on the fence about global warming, back in the day…

  18. 20

    Daddy Love spews:

    Gregoire is popular

    Rossi is a has-been loser.

    He did the best he ever will in 2004.

  19. 21

    ewp spews:

    @19 Given that Doc Savage’s main nemesis in the early stories was John Sunlight. I’d have to put him into the global warming believer category.

  20. 22

    Ed the Head spews:

    The Elway poll, like all Elway polls, oversamples Democrats. He’s still trying to recover his reputation after saying I-695 wasn’t going to pass.

  21. 23

    slingshot spews:

    McCain is not on the lunatic fringe? He was a victim of the lowest form of Rovianism in the 2k election, only to spinelessly come crawling back up shrub’s ass. He just flip-flopped on his lifelong opposition to torture to suit the party lunatic fringe hoping to appear more electable? WTF, Chuck?
    And this is the wrong decade to be running on an anti-union plank. Seriously, you need to reality up, bronco.

  22. 24

    Richard Pope spews:

    It’s gotta be quite a bit closer than the Elway poll. I have never seen an Elway poll that was reasonably accurate. Elway predicted I-695 would fail and Prop 1 would pass. His latest poll has Rossi beating Gregoire among independents (with 41% for Rossi, and many undecideds), but only getting 35% of the vote statewide. Republicans can usually get 35% statewide, even when their ass is kicked among independents. So I would say the Elway poll is vastly oversampling Democrats and undersampling Republicans.

    The more recent poll for Washington Conservation Voters also has Rossi carrying independents with 41%, but polling statewide at 41% (instead of 35%) and losing to Gregoire by 2% (instead of by 13%). So it is very much a horse race, and certainly not a shoe-in for Gregoire.

  23. 25

    Joe King spews:


    Dave Reichert has just announced he will not seek re-election in 2008. Sources say he’s going to retire from congress and return to the King County Sheriffs department as a Deputy Sheriff’.

    It’s also being reported that Dave will be assigned to the Special Victims Unit. Dave’s first case will be to identify the body of a local black man, about 6’ 2” tall, goes by the blogger name of Puddybud. Ironically, he was found dead, face down in his bathtub filled with milk, Life cereal, and a banana protruding from his anus. Deputy sheriff Reichert was quoted as saying “It looks as if we have a cereal killer on our hands.”

    When asked if there were any suspects in the case, Deputy Dave responded “It must’ve been someone Puddybud knew, someone Puddybud trusted and that someone had to strong enough to hold his head under the milk until he drowned. Most likely a man. A man who could pack a banana in his anus. I will dub the suspect ‘PackMan’.”

    More new on this developing case as details emerge.

    For KIRO NEWS, this is Joe King reporting.

  24. 26

    Puddybud, The Fact Finding Prognosticator... spews:

    Not bad Joking:

    But Puddybud eats bananas while you shit them. BTW me and PacMan are close but not that close. We don’t take rides on the Hershey Highway.

  25. 29


    @23 slingshot

    McCain is a far, far cry from the loonies.

    You may not agree with him but it is asinine to equate John McCain with the Residual Repricans who believe that Jesus created the world out of dinosaur feces 6000 years ago, that lower taxes = more federal income, that Sadaam H. was providing a bombs to el Qaeda, etc.

    I think he is toast in the Fall, but that does not mean he can not help folks like Reichert IF he portrays himself as a neocan .. that is a new Reagan/Eisenhower Repub. Ther eis an appeal to the idea of a moderate, business driven right that is quite reasonable.

    True, McCain has pandered. All the Prexiestobe have pandered too. The hard part about pandering is that it can octs oyu your freedom in the general election and cripple you as a prexey.

    Most of McC’s seems ot em to be no worse than HRC’s. I assume, for example, that of elected she would discover good reason not to fully withdraw from Iraq and her healthcare plan would end up much closer to BH’s plan for simple reasons of price tag,.

  26. 31

    ArtFart spews:

    29 “Reagan/Eisenhower repub”???? HUH?

    Ike would most likely take that as an insult. At the very least, he’d find Ronny RayGun’s attempts to be an armchair general to be at best laughable (“We got there….just in time”) and at worst, execrable (the 200 Marines who got blown up in Beirut).

  27. 32

    Mike in Seattle spews:

    not to mention ike took an unpopular position and vocally outed the threat of “the military industrial complex” and reagan was just their stooge…

  28. 33

    Joe King spews:

    This reporter has just learned that Puddybud, the BBB, Big Black Blogger was quoted as saying:
    “But Puddybud eats bananas while you shit them.

    I’m with Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN, Dr. Gupta, was it wise for Puddybud to actually eat bananas wile someone was shitting them our of their ass?”

    “Uh, no, Joe. That’s a bad practice unless you’re a dog or a Bush supporter.”

    “I see, Dr. Gupta, do you think this is a trend amoung Republicans.”

    “Well, Joe, it’s hard to say. There may be a LOT more Republicans eating shit, otherwise known as crow, this fall.”

    “But, Dr. if they eat shit. . .couldn’t they die??”

    “Yes, Joe, it’s know as; Eat shit and die.”

    That’s all for now this is Joe King reporting live from the Steam Baths in Pioneer Square where Puddybud confessed he eats bananas while they are being shitted.”