Rasmussen: Rossi in Close Wash. Senate Race

Friday, 28 May 2010 12:59 PM

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Republican Dino Rossi’s making his candidacy official hasn’t changed the numbers, as he remains virtually tied with incumbent Democrat Patty Murray for the U.S. Senate in Washington state.

Murray pulls 48 percent voter support, while Rossi earns 47 percent, according to a new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in Washington finds. Another 2 percent prefer some other candidate in the race, and 4 percent are undecided.

That’s essentially unchanged from May 5.

In fact, the results of a Murray-Rossi match-up have been close all year. Since January, when matched against Rossi, Murray’s support has stayed in the narrow range of 46 percent to 48 percent. During the same period, Rossi has earned 46 percent to 49 percent.

Any incumbent with less than 50 percent support at this stage of a campaign is considered potentially vulnerable. However, Washington is a Democratic-leaning state that should provide a boost for the incumbent Democrat. Murray was re-elected with 55 percent of the vote in 2004.

Rossi is best known to Washington voters for his two unsuccessful bids for governor against Democrat Christine Gregoire.

He has been toying with the idea of a Senate run for months and formally announced his candidacy on Wednesday. The survey was taken Wednesday night.

Rossi is the only Republican who has run close match-ups with Murray consistently this year. GOP voters will pick their Senate nominee in an Aug. 17 primary.

Murray, who is seeking her fourth six-year term, holds double-digit advantages over three other GOP hopefuls. She leads State Sen. Don Benton 50 percent to 35 percent, former pro football player Clint Didier 47 percent to 37 percent, and businessman Paul Akers 47 percent to 32 percent.

In all three of these match-ups, 6 percent like another candidate and 9 percent to 15 percent are undecided.

Murray carries both male and female voters in the state unless Rossi is the Republican in the race in which case both demographic groups break roughly even. Voters not affiliated with either major party favor Rossi, even if Didier’s in the race, and lean to the Democrat against both Benton and Akers.

Most voters in Washington favor repeal of the national healthcare bill and support adoption of an immigration law like Arizona’s in their state, but they don’t hold either view as strongly as voters nationwide.
Just over half of Washington voters support repealing the healthcare law, while 46 percent oppose doing so. This reflects a slight uptick in support for repeal from earlier in the month. The figures include 43 percent who strongly favor repeal and 40 percent who are strongly opposed. Nationally, support for repeal is significantly higher.
Almost 90 percent of Washington voters who strongly favor repeal support Rossi. The other Republicans earn 68 percent to 75 percent support from these voters. Murray picks up roughly 90 percent support from those who strongly oppose repeal.
Fifty-two percent favor a law like Arizona’s in Washington, while 39 percent oppose such a law. Earlier in the month, a plurality opposed such a law.

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