According to a new Rasmussen Reports survey, both Sen. Maria Cantwell and Gov. Christine Gregoire are basking in the adoration of WA voters, enjoying 57 percent and 51 percent favorable ratings respectively. Both numbers are up from Rasmussen’s February survey.
(A grudging thanks to that damned OR blogger, TJ of Also Also, for scooping WA’s blogosphere and MSM in reporting the latest numbers.)
While head-to-head surveys show Cantwell whipping the political asses of political asses Chris Vance and Rick White, putative GOP nominee Mike McGavick avoided an equally poor showing… on the strength of being inexplicably left out of the poll entirely. Um… not sure why.
Anyway, according to Rasmussen:
Cantwell’s prospects have improved since Dino Rossi indicated he will stay out of the Senate race in 2006. Rossi was nearly elected Governor last November before a controversial recount determined that Christine Gregoire won the closest election in state history.
Cantwell also benefits from the fact that President Bush’s Approval Rating has dipped to 39% in the state of Washington. Just 25% believe the country is headed in the right direction.
Absolutely. As I’ve said before, Cantwell should focus on campaigning against Bush, Cheney, Delay, Frist, Rove and the rest of the Republican rogues gallery, regardless of who the GOPolitburo appoints as her official opponent. This election is about cloture, and WA voters who gave John Kerry and Patty Murray substantial margins last November are going to be very reluctant to hand the far-right absolute power in the other Washington. If the Bush administration keeps self-destructing, and Cantwell can maintain her favorable ratings a notch above 50 percent, then she’ll be unbeatable in 2006.
TJ also focuses a bit on Gregoire’s surprisingly good showing in light of the unprecedented BIAW/GOP PR campaign to discredit and delegitimize her election.
Perhaps the most stunning number is almost buried in this story: Christine Gregoire’s approval rating in this poll sits at 51%, a far cry from SurveyUSA’s pegging of her in the low 40s/high 30s since May. SUSA is not known to have any real partisan leanings, and is a robopoller like Rasmussen, so I find the latter number quite curious. There is no August report from SUSA that I can find (they just released Bush’s state by state numbers though, and they almost uniformly suck!), so it’s possible that this is improvement by Gregoire, or noise, or a combination of the two.
In any case, given how early she is in her term, and how clouded the first six months were by negative press over her election, I don’t think Gregoire’s approval ratings tell us much at the moment about her prospects in 2008. But the Rasmussen survey certainly isn’t discouraging.