The much anticipated and widely respected Washington Poll came out today with numbers that really don’t look all that bad for a Democratic Party allegedly facing a Big Red Wave™.
In the closely watched U.S. Senate race, the poll has incumbent Democratic Sen. Patty Murray leading maybe-challenger Dino Rossi 44-40, a slightly wider margin than the 42-39 spread she scores against a generic Republican opponent. Yeah, that’s not as wide a lead as Murray supporters would like to see, but it doesn’t show much strength for Rossi either, who, after all, Washington state voters already know quite well. One of the downsides to Rossi’s much touted name ID, it turns out, is that many voters have already developed an unfavorable impression of him.
Furthermore, at 51%, the poll finds Murray’s job approval above that magic 50% mark, and significantly higher than both Gov. Chris Gregoire and AG Rob McKenna, the other two statewide elected officials surveyed.
A whopping 62% of respondents list “Jobs/Economy” as their most important concern in 2010, which as a successful businessman profiting handsomely off the foreclosure crisis, I’m sure Rossi would attempt to make his number one issue. Or something. But with only 6% of voters listing “Taxes,” the usual Republican boogeyman, as their number one concern, that leaves the door open for Murray to campaign on the impressive amount of jobs and dollars she brings to the state through her seniority and appropriations prowess.
I mean, if folks are going to vote their wallet, there’s a much more compelling argument to make for Murray’s legislative accomplishments than for Rossi’s anti-tax/anti-government ideology. I’m just sayin’.
Update [Darryl] — I’ve done some further analyses of the Murray—Rossi match-up and examine the public polling in this race.