No chance for Rossi (today, anyway)

As Goldy pointed out, there was a new poll for the Washington gubernatorial race released today by Rasmussen Reports. The poll was taken on May 12 on a sample of 500 likely voters, giving it a margin of error of about 4%.

The poll shows Governor Christine Gregoire is leading Dino Rossi 52% to 41%. This double-digit (+11%) lead is substantially better that her +5% lead in a late-April Elway poll poll and her +4% lead mid-April SurveyUSA poll. Finally, the previous Rassmussen poll, taken in late March gave Gregoire a slim +1% lead.

My Monte Carlo analysis of the Elway poll indicated that Gregoire had an 89.9% chance of beating Rossi (but only if the election were held when the poll was taken). It is precisely because that probability is less than 95% (a rather arbitrary number offered as a reasonable cut-off “significance level” by the great statistician Sir. R.A. Fisher early in the last century), that the results are considered a “statistical tie” or “within the margin of sampling error.” But having a nearly 90% probability of winning is not the same as having a 50% probability of winning—something that is implied by the phrase “statistical tie.”

So lets repeat the Monte Carlo exercise to estimate Rossi’s or Gregorie’s probability of winning a hypothetical election held right now. I simulated a million gubernatorial elections of 500 voters each election. Each person had a 52% chance of voting for Gregoire, a 41% chance of voting for Rossi, and a 7% chance of voting for neither.

The result? Gregoire won every single one of the one million elections. In other words, the poll results indicate that, in an election held right now, Gregoire would win with certainty. There are some assumptions involved: the Rasmussen poll is unbiased and the sample was truly selected at random. So violations of those assumptions may offer Rossi slight chances. Furthermore, there is no question that things can and will change before November. But right now the best evidence available suggests that Gregoire wins.

There was another interesting finding in the poll. When the likely voters were asked their views on each candidate, 49% viewed Rossi favorably; 55% viewed Gregoire favorably; 45% viewed Rossi unfavorably; and 41% viewed Gregoire unfavorably. That gives Rossi a +4% spread between favorable and unfavorable, and Gregoire a +14% spread.

I’m thinkin’ the “We Wuz Robbed” meme isn’t really working out for Rossi….

(Cross-posted at Hominid Views)


  1. 1

    Daddy Love spews:

    Who would have thought that bitter, unemployed, sore loser Republicans like Rossi would have a hard time at the polls?

  2. 2

    Daddy Love spews:

    I’d just like to mention again in this thread that Chris Gregoire was assistant attorney general under Attorney General Slade Gorton, was appointed to be the first female deputy attorney general in state history by Republican Ken Eikenberry, was director of the Washington State Department of Ecology, elected three times to spend 12 years as state Attorney General, and has four years as Governor.

    And it bears mentioning that Dino Rossi was an undistinguished state representative given the job or wrangling the budget before 2004 solely to position him for a run at the governorship, and who is currently unemployed.

  3. 3

    Tlazolteotl spews:

    Go over to the TPM Elections polltracker page, read ‘em and weep, GOP.

    Even Uncle Ted in AK is in big trouble!

    I’m with Digby, at this point – all the Republicans can do now is try to fuck things up from the minority position. Unfortunately, they like to do that, the arrogant, passive-aggressive fucks that they are.

  4. 4


    I would just like point out, Rossi is all rhetoric and has no plans.

    I think I remember some Rossi supporters taking issue with that when it was with someone else. But diff’rent strokes… I guess.

    Go figure.

  5. 5

    rhp6033 spews:

    Are you a Republican? Are you lonely? Can’t find anyone who agrees with you anymore? Tired of going into bars and hearing everyone complain about the arrogance and inneptitude of the Republican Party?

    Well, now there is a solution! Here is a guaranteed drinking buddy that will keep you company while you drown your sorrows, and he won’t even talk politics!

    The Talking Vodka Bottle

  6. 7

    Daddy Love spews:

    Besides which, Dino Rossi is carrying my child! He wants me to pay for the abortion, but I refused the bastard, because I have sworn never to give money to Republicans.

  7. 8

    Daddy Love spews:

    4 TJM

    He may be “all rhetoric and no plans,” but after three or four martinis he starts to seem really charming.

  8. 9

    Daddy Love spews:

    My prediction again:

    Democrats pick up 24 seats in the House (Dave Reichert’s included), 7 Senate seats, and the presidency.

  9. 10

    Daddy Love spews:

    And the WA governorship, which I think kind of goes withut saying. But who am I not to say it?

  10. 11

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 8

    He may be “all rhetoric and no plans,” but after three or four martinis he starts to seem really charming.

    Is that after he’s had a three or four martinis, or you’ve had three or four martinis? Both?

  11. 12

    ByeByeGOP spews:

    Now is Rossi a real estate agent or broker? I get confused – he’s lied so many times. Anyone else would be prosecuted.

  12. 13

    Daddy Love spews:

    11 DJ

    Hey, he’s cute for an asshole Republican, OK? I don’t have to explain my perverted fascination with gay-hating, poor-hating, self-hating hypocrites to you.

  13. 14

    Daddy Love spews:

    Uh, good news from the Seattle Timid:

    Gov. Chris Gregoire’s supporters flooded the Democrat with campaign contributions in April, injecting more than $1.3 million into her rematch against Republican challenger Dino Rossi.

    …Rossi’s April haul was more modest, at about $641,000.

    …Richardson’s speech to a packed Democratic luncheon in downtown Seattle drew about $300,000 for Gregoire’s campaign – about $100,000 more than expected,

  14. 15

    zdp189 spews:

    I think this shows the voters’ appreciation for Gov. Gregoire having protected us from the threat of on-line gambling.

    That, and her having solved the viaduct problem by promising to tear it down by 2012, only 11 years after it was damaged in the Nisqually quake of 2001. Last, but not least, the adoption of ‘Say WA’ as our slogan.

    Chistine Gregoire: leadership so thick it should be banned by the state anti-obesity coordinator.

  15. 16

    SeattleMike spews:

    If Rasmussen shows Gregoire that far ahead, then Rossi;s fledgling campaign is in very deep trouble. Rasmussen’s bias tends towards the right; they still show Bush with a much higher approval rating than just about everybody else… their last report showed his approval at 32%, instead of the mid-20’s where it has been hovering in all other polls.

  16. 17

    thor spews:

    Looks like more people know Dino Rossi politics than ever before. His support is way down in John Carlson land and his unfavorables are way up.

    Rossi is toast. The media will try to make it look like a race. But there is no hope for Rossi. McCain can’t help him here. Karl Rove can’t. George Bush can’t. Eyman can’t this time. The GOP Governor’s might try to spend for Rossi – but this latest poll may turn off their money too.

    McCain’s visit here drove GOP voters away from the ballot box. They will stay home.

    Obama will bring droves to the polls who are anti-Rossi, for good reason. Rossi is George W. Bush, bad for the environment, anti civil rights (like Bush, Rossi supports a constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage) and has prehistoric fantasies on transportation.

    It is a minor miracle that Rossi has gotten this far and been given a second chance.

    It might be more fun this year to watch John Ladenburg beat GOP Prince Rob McKenna. And Darci Burner beat the Bumbling Sheriff.

  17. 18

    Richard Pope spews:

    Somehow, I think campaign events like this one will diminish Dino Rossi’s chances even more. Here it is, straight from the Seattle University College Republicans website:

    “Andrew Franz, Professor of Military Science at Seattle University, recently announced he will run for WA State House in the 47th district.

    Please join Dino Rossi, SU Alumnus, to kickoff Andrew Franz’s campaign for the State House on Friday May 5th, 7:00 PM. The kickoff is to be held at the Kent Senior Center. Students wishing volunteer or attend should meet in the Campion turnaround at 5:00pm to car-pool to the event.”

  18. 19

    proud leftist spews:

    RP @18
    So, this is accurate from the Seattle U Republicans:
    “Students wishing volunteer or attend should meet in the Campion turnaround at 5:00pm to car-pool to the event.”?

    What happened to the ability to speak English?

  19. 20

    Johnny Pneumonic spews:

    Another example of liberal asshattery. Do you honestly think that normal distribution occurs in 500 people? Because if it did, it would have to be taken from one geographic region. One geographic region of the state makes all the difference in the world.

    Poll 500 ‘likely’ voters in Spokane, vs. Walla Walla, vs Olympia vs Seattle and tell me what you get.

    If this is what you’re hanging your hat on, well….. I’d say your a bigger fool than I originally though.

  20. 22

    Daddy Love spews:

    20 JP

    Yeah, Rasmussen knows nothing about how to conduct a scientific poll. And this is what you’re basing your Rossi hopes on? No wonder everyone says you’re dumb.

  21. 23

    johnny Pneumonic spews:

    Wow Daddy Love, did you think up that ‘comeback’ all by yourself, or did Sylvan learning center help you out? Maybe you’ll pass the WASL this year…

    First of all, polling is not a formal scientific inquiry. The fact that this has to be revealed to you on a partisan blog is rather sad.

    Secondly, lets assume the poll is valid, the variance between the polls is more than 7% for a 3 week stretch. Attributed to what? All the Dino/Gregoire news out there? Hardly. Everyone’s focused on the Barack/Hilary. So, summing it up, the numbers mean about zilch. Unless you run a partisan blog, then they can mean whatever you tell your asshat lemmings they mean.

    Finally, if people sit around and talk about me, they sure are some pathetic bunch of asshats (man that word just seems to fit today). It really wouldn’t surprise me though, considering the brain cell that you all share around here.

  22. 25


    Johnny Pneumonic:

    “Another example of liberal asshattery. Do you honestly think that normal distribution occurs in 500 people?”

    Ummm…I hate to break this to ya, Squirt: There was NO assumption of normality (that is, a normal distribution) in the poll analysis.

    You seem rather uninformed about both polling and statistical analyses of polls.

  23. 26


    Johnny Pneumonic:

    “First of all, polling is not a formal scientific inquiry.”

    So? How is that relevant? The results of most political polls are disseminated by the media (and, these days, blogs), rather than being published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

    “Secondly, lets assume the poll is valid, the variance between the polls is more than 7% for a 3 week stretch.”

    No…the difference in variance is not more than 7%. The difference in MEAN is more than 7%.

    You keep using technical terms, but you don’t really seem to know what they mean.

    “Attributed to what?”

    One could potentially infer some of this from the crosstabs. However, without that information, it is perfectly conceivable that the mean difference is the result of a secular change towards more Gregoire support combined with ordinary sampling error.

    “So, summing it up, the numbers mean about zilch.”

    Sure, Squirt, that is why there are hundreds of polling companies/organizations that do hundreds of million of dollars per year in business. Because candidates, the media, political action groups love paying big bucks for studies that mean “zilch.”

    “Unless you run a partisan blog, then they can mean whatever you tell your asshat lemmings they mean.”

    Yeah…you really hit the nail on the head there, Squirt. Because partisan bloggers are obviously the ones paying the big bucks to keep the polling industry afloat, just so they can use the polls to say whatever they want.

    “Finally, if people sit around and talk about me, they sure are some pathetic bunch of asshats (man that word just seems to fit today).”

    You have a point, Squirt. But we’re not nearly as pathetic as a Wingnut going to a liberal political blog and leaving comments with made-up shit about polls….


  24. 27

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    1) 33% increase in spending
    2) 8000 new state welfare recipients…I mean emplyees.
    3) $2.4 BILLION projected deficit.

    Is the election today Darryl??

  25. 28


    Mr. Cynical,

    “Is the election today Darryl?”


    The election will be held on Tuesday, November 25. Be sure to mark it in your calender and get to the polls early that day.