WA Sen: Rossi Surges Into Lead

Guy Benson
Posted: Oct 07, 2010 11:17 AM
Remember the item I posted just a short while ago about how RCP projects the US Senate will stand at 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats after the election?  That calculus includes a Patty Murray victory over Dino Rossi in Washington State.  With that in mind, please enjoy this new poll that shows Rossi vaulting ahead of Murray by six points:

A new Republican poll conducted in the Washington Senate race shows that former state Sen. Dino Rossi (R) may have overtaken Sen. Patty Murray (D).

The survey, conducted by Fabrizio, McLaughlin and Associates for the conservative-aligned American Action Forum, showed Rossi leading Murray 48 percent to 42 percent among likely voters. The results indicate that the race has shifted in Rossi's favor since June, when the same pollster's survey showed the candidates tied at 46 percent apiece.

Granted, most recent polling shows the race very close, with Murray ahead in most cases (excluding Rasmussen).  This new data may signal a troubling shift for Patty Murray because the electorate is beginning to reject her dishonest and nasty attacks on Rossi.  Voters may also be repulsed by the revelation that Murray recently funneled nearly $20 Million in earmarks to the clients of lobbyists who used to work for...Patty Murray. 

Some apologists may chalk this up to run-of-the-mill political back-scratching, but it could prove acutely problematic for Murray for two reasons:  First, she has attacked Rossi for his connections to lobbyists and big business, so the hypocrisy is evident even to casual observers (which describes most voters).  Second--and more damaging--Patty Murray made her political bones as an outsider.  She was a lovable "mom in tennis shoes" who was just seeking to make a difference by taking on a corrupt system.  Now, she's an entrenched cog in that system.  She's grown accustomed to the cushy perks of the Senate parlor club.  She's even doling out lucrative earmarks to benefit former staffers.  In other words, she's lost her brand--a brand that would resonate strongly this year if it were still intact.