Poll: No problems for Maria

Just in case we weren’t quit sure…Public Policy Polling has done a poll in the Senate race between Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and three potential opponents. The poll surveyed 1,264 Washington voters (2.8% MOE) from 16th to the 19th of February.

State Sen. Michael Baumgartner is Cantwell’s only declared opponent, but PPP also included match-ups between Cantwell and Seattle Port Commission President Bill Bryant and real estate salesman, former two-time gubernatorial and one-time senatorial candidate Dino Rossi. A possible entry into the race by Bryant has launched a minor feud within the state G.O.P.

Here are the PPP poll findings:

  • Cantwell (D) 51% v. Baumgartner (R) 36%
  • Cantwell (D) 50% v. Bryant (R) 36%
  • Cantwell (D) 53% v. Rossi (R) 41%

For job performance, Cantwell receives 47% approval and 38% disapproval for a net of +9.

All three of Cantwell’s potential opponents are underwater in favorability. Nevertheless, the measure is meaningless for Baumgartner and Bryant who get “Not sure” from 78% and 85% of respondents respectively. Dino Rossi, for whom 88% of respondents have formed an opinion, receives 38% favorable to 50% unfavorable.

That’s right…Dino Rossi, the man who been the standard bearer of the Washington state Republican party torch since 2004 (and pitchfork since 2008) has a net favorability of -12.


  1. 1

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    This proves 41% of Washington’s voters should be investigated under involuntary commitment laws because they pose a substantial risk harm to themselves or others.

  2. 2

    MikeBoyScout spews:

    Darryl, don’t know how tight you are with these polling outfits, or if the data already exists, but it would be interesting to know how the low polling of both Cantwell’s and Obama’s opponents in WA would impact likely voter turnout for the one and only Republican in WA that has a hair of a chance getting elected this November.

  3. 3

    rhp6033 spews:

    Yes, Cantwell’s facing some pretty soft opposition this time around. I can’t see Rossi running this time – he sees the same polling. Why should he waste his time and effort when he could be snatching up foreclosures and making a mint during the economic revival?

    I still don’t see why Cantwell doesn’t have above 50% favorable rating, and get at least 56% in any head-to-head match-up. Is it just because she’s not spent a lot of effort trying to get press coverage? Or is she facing some of the “throw ALL the rascals out of Congress and start over again” backlash?

  4. 4

    Politically Incorrect spews:


    Unfortunately, foreclosures happen – people buy more house than they can afford. The best thing to do is get the unpleasantness over with quickly and get the foreclosures done. Once we get past all the defaulted properties being sold to other buyers (who can afford them), the sooner we’ll be through the housing mess.

  5. 5

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    “…why Cantwell doesn’t have above 50% favorable rating…”

    Because there are at least 49% of the people who don’t like her, don’t know who she is, or simply don’t care.

  6. 6

    ArtFart spews:

    @4 This is of course assuming the banks won’t do the same thing all over again when the properties get re-sold. Well, maybe they won’t–they’ve found bigger fish to fry trading credit swaps derived from the indebtedness of entire countries.

  7. 7

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Republicans spend huge sums and work their butts off to keep American citizens from voting in their own country, but you can’t find a Republican willing to risk his life to defend this country. How did Republicans get away with portraying themseles as “patriots” for so long?


  8. 8

    rhp6033 spews:

    4. Politically Incorrect spews:

    Unfortunately, foreclosures happen – people buy more house than they can afford.

    That was hardly the cause of the housing collapse beginning in late 2007, and continuing today (although Republicans continue to try to blame the victims here instead of the perpetrators). The initial problem was the run-up of prices in 2005-mid 2007, caused by a variety of reasons, including shoddy and immoral lending practices, along with some people trying to make a quick buck flipping houses before they even close from the first transaction.

    The next problem (which still exists today) is the deflation of the value of real estate, making homes “underwater” and impossible to sell when people get laid off or have to move for job purposes. This has a multiplier affect, as empty foreclosed homes on the block further depress existing home values, sending even more homes underwater. In some areas, even 50% equity wasn’t a sufficient to protect against the home going underwater.

    The best thing to do is get the unpleasantness over with quickly and get the foreclosures done. Once we get past all the defaulted properties being sold to other buyers (who can afford them), the sooner we’ll be through the housing mess.

    That’s already happened. But banks still have lots of unsold houses in their inventory, which they are parceling out gradually onto the market. So the problem will continue until those are all sold. Good luck with that – we are still seeing new foreclosures as people who tried to keep their homes as long as possible are being forced to default when they have to move elsewhere, or simply run out of money or find themselves faced with a five-year balloon payment and no way to re-finance in the current market.

    What’s needed is a slight amendment to the Bankruptcy Code, allowing a homeowner to have the court determine the value of their home which sets the limit of the bank’s security interest. The rest becomes an unsecured debt, which would be handled as such in either Chapt. 7 (liquidation) or Chapt. 13 (wage-earner re-organization). This is what businesses use all the time in Chapter 11, but was specifically made unavailable by Congress to homeowners. The end result would be that people using Chapter 13 could keep their homes out of foreclosure, and pay off the mortgage to the extent of the value of the house.

  9. 9

    Michael spews:

    Once we get past all the defaulted properties being sold to other buyers (who can afford them), the sooner we’ll be through the housing mess

    There aren’t enough buyers and we built home in areas without the job base to support them.

    In some cases there’s whole subdivisions where the builders went broke and the OPM they used to build those subdivisions with were bought, bundled, and sold so many times that we don’t know who owns them.

    Poor quality of construction and homes that haven’t been lived in for years mean we’ve got houses that are only worth their salvage value. But, there’s so much salvage and so little market for it out there that there’s really no value on that salvage.

    There’s no quick and easy way though this mess. It’s probably going to end up with cities and counties taking ownership of lots of houses and just bulldozing them.

  10. 10

    Michael spews:

    That’s already happened. But banks still have lots of unsold houses in their inventory, which they are parceling out gradually onto the market.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the banks magically lose the titles to more than a few robo-signed underwater properties and developments that developers will never finish developing.

    We built record #’s of large suburban tract homes at a time when record numbers of people are living alone, ( http://tinyurl.com/7lzugnf ) the birth rate’s been falling for decades, gas prices are rising to record levels, most American’s buying power is stagnant, car ownership is going down, and record #’s of people say they want to live in walkable communities. We will never fix this mess by people buying all the homes.

    Too bring Maria Cantwell back into this, we need someone like Maria who seems to get the above and is smart enough to help workout a way forwards for us. Other that that oops on bankruptcy reform a few years back, Cantwell’s done good work on the banking committee, including trying to get Glass-Steagall re-instated.

  11. 11

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @10 Re car ownership going down: The average age of vehicles on American roads is now over 10 years. Old cars reach a point where keeping them going costs more than making payments on a new one. This is reflected in the car market. Automakers and new car dealers are actually doing quite well right now, because the aging of America’s private vehicle fleet has created a huge replacement market for new vehicles. I own Ford stock.

  12. 12

    Michael spews:


    I’ve been watching that and it’s good news. The auto industry not only employes a hell of a lot of people it employes them at good wages. But, there’s something like 4M few cars on the roads this year from last. Car ownership peaked in the early 2000’s and has been headed down since about 2005.

  13. 13

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @8 Funny how the Bankruptcy Code, after Republicans rewrote it, lets giant corporations abrogate union contracts and pension obligations but forces homeowners cheated by crooked bankers and a rigged housing market repay every penny whether they’ve got it or not.

  14. 14

    proud leftist spews:

    Maria Cantwell is a helluva Senator. She’s the kind of people we need in DC. She doesn’t blast her own horn, she grasps details, she is not an idealogue. Imagine that, wingnuts.

  15. 15

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    If you want to solve the housing crisis, just put underwater homeowners under Republican bankruptcy rules. What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander.

  16. 16

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @12 That may have something to do with slowing household formation. The Great Recession also is producing one hell of a baby bust. A generation from now, we’ll have to recruit foreign workers, or there’ll be no one paying Social Security and Medicare taxes.

  17. 17

    ArtFart spews:

    @4, @8 We’ve had slumps in the housing market before, and times in the past (previously driven by high interest rates) when lenders have experimented with all sorts of “creative financing”. However, although I admit I haven’t followed all the grisly details over the years, I’m pretty damned sure that when we took out a mortgage to buy our house in 1976, there wasn’t anything in the fine print that gave the lender the right to arbitrarily seize the place and kick us out if the market value dipped below the balance we still owed, as long as we kept making the payments. Considering the general volatility of everything nowadays, to have such a clause in a typical mortgage contract would seem to make purchasing a home far too risky a proposition for anyone not wealthy enough to pay the full price in cash.

  18. 18

    ArtFart spews:

    It may be that the GOP leadership have already decided that they don’t have enough of a chance of ousting Cantwell to waste the kind of money that they’re spending elsewhere to gain control of the Senate this fall. The remaining question is whether they’ll instead put the same resources into putting McKenna in the governor’s mansion.

  19. 19

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    If you can’t afford to buy a home, don’t buy one. It’s that simple. If banks can’t seize the collateral of a morrtgage they have granted to a homebuyer who subsequently doesn’t pay the mortgage, then the mortgage industry will cease to exist.

    Where will people find the money to buy homes if they can’t get loans from banks and mortgage companies? Some can get the loans from family members or friends, but the vast majority of would-be homeowners simply couldn’t buy a home, ever. That’s where we’re headed if there is no penalty for not paying your mortgage. Foreclosures simply have to happen to make the system work.