The Seattle Times released details over the weekend of the Elway Poll it and the Spokesman-Review had commissioned, and the crosstabs look even worse for Dino Rossi than the top-line 50-41% Patty Murray lead initially reported. Indeed, according to Elway, Murray doesn’t just enjoy broader support than Rossi, she enjoys stronger support, and for more positive reasons.
The 50-41% top-line includes both strong supporters and leaners, but when the latter is excluded, and only those responding that they would “definitely” vote for one candidate or the other are counted, Murray leads Rossi by a more substantial 43-30%. Huh. 30 percent. That’s less than Will Baker type numbers… the bare minimum that any Republican candidate will get in a statewide election just for having an “R” next to their name on the ballot.
Perhaps even more interesting is the question regarding the motivation of respondents. 66% of Murray supporters said that their vote had more to do with keeping Murray in the Senate, compared to 22% who were more concerned with keeping Rossi out. But only 35% of Rossi voters said they were motivated more by the desire to put him into the Senate, compared to the 45% motivated to keep Murray out.
If there’s an enthusiasm gap, it doesn’t appear to be in Rossi’s favor.
Still, both campaigns are up on the air now in heavy rotation, and voters are just starting to pay close attention to the race, so it will be interesting to see how these numbers move in the next round of polling.