April, 9th 2010

WA-Sen: New Rasmussen poll puts Murray ahead of Rossi in hypothetical matchup

– Liz Mair

Via Pollster, here are the numbers from a new Rasmussen poll of Washington State voters:

500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone


2010 Senate
48% Murray (D), 46% Rossi (R)
48% Murray (D), 40% Bention (R)
47% Murray (D), 37% Didier (R)
46% Murray (D), 37% Widener (R)
45% Murray (D), 37% Akers (R)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Dino Rossi: 52 / 44
Don Benton: 34 / 25
Patty Murray: 53 / 43
Clint Didier: 26 / 29
Chris Widener: 28 / 24
Paul Akers: 29 / 27

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 54 / 43
Gov. Gregoire: 44 / 54

I have a couple of thoughts on this. 

First, it's interesting to me that Murray can't break 50 percent in a single, hypothetical matchup with any of the Republicans named.  While that means that those currently in the race (Akers, Benton, Didier and Widener, in alphabetical order) absolutely have work to do to catch her, she's more catchable than her campaign staff and the DSCC would like.  See my post earlier for more about her overall vulnerability this cycle.  It sure does suck to be a three-term incumbent and a member of Senate Majority leadership right now, doesn't it?

Second, I've already heard from a couple of Rossi fans who are worried that he's slipped in this poll.  No offense meant to Scott Rasmussen, but I'd chill.  While I haven't done any sort of definitive analysis on this (nor do I intend to), I can say that in my opinion, Rasmussen's results are a little less reliable predictors of behavior, in my opinion, than those of some other pollsters (when we're looking at, say, polling on Obama's job approval, I find Gallup to be more credible).  Also, with Rasmussen's margin of error being a healthy 4.5 percent, it's really anyone's guess whether Rossi is up, or Murray is up.

If I were the Murray folks, I'd be more interested in where my candidate's approval rating currently sits than in the results we see here-- apart from that sub-50 percent number, which seems to reinforce what the approval rating numbers suggest.  I wouldn't be too surprised to see more DSCC oppo-shopping on Dino Rossi over the next 2-3 weeks. [intro]



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