Former Washington State Republican Party chair and failed 8th Congressional District candidate Diane Tebelius has a poll in the field testing the waters against 48th Legislative District Democratic incumbent Representatives Ross Hunter and Deb Eddy.
From all accounts the questions are pretty typical for this sorta poll: right/wrong direction, favorables/unfavorables, descriptions of the candidates followed by head to head match-ups and then some demographics. It is being conducted by Fallon Research.
The 62-year-old Tebelius has long been a party drudge with little to show for her efforts, having repeatedly been passed over or urged out of races in favor of fellow Republicans perceived by the powers that be to have more political upside. Following the GOP’s disastrous showing in 2006, a wave election for which Tebelius can hardly be blamed, she was unceremoniously ousted from her brief tenure as WSRP chair in favor of McKenna cabin boy Luke Esser. “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out,” and all that.
I know GOPers are hoping that 2010 might produce a wave that washes in their direction, sweeping a few Republicans back into control of key Eastside seats that until only recently were solidly red, and there are a few vulnerable Dems who come to mind. But neither Hunter, the Times-endorsed candidate in last August’s King County Executive primary, nor former Discovery Institute fellow Eddy, come across to voters as representing the liberal wing of their party, and thus neither would provide much of an ideological contrast for Tebelius. And having watched Tebelius represent the KCGOP during their misplayed 2005 mass voter registration challenge, both Hunter and Eddy just come across as, well, smarter.
I’m not saying that Tebelius would make a bad candidate (though from past performance she hasn’t come across as a particularly good one), but one of the keys to success in politics, as in many other endeavors, is being in the right place at the right time… and once again Tebelius can’t quite seem to line the two up.
No doubt neither Hunter nor Eddy would prefer to draw Tebelius as a challenger, but I’m guessing neither is particularly awed by the prospect either. This may be the most favorable political climate local Republicans have enjoyed in years, but if they’re just going to throw old-timers like Tebelius at the Dems, it doesn’t say much about the WSRP’s strategy for exploiting it.