This one is going to be a nail-biter, but it looks as if the wave - coming from the right, as it were - is finally splashing on the shores of the great Pacific Northwest, making Washington State a toss-up...at best:
Early voting figures and a new poll from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling suggest a surge of support for Dino Rossi. Among the 76 percent of voters who have already sent in their ballots, according to the poll, Rossi leads 52 to 47 percent.
Among those who haven’t sent their ballots in, Murray leads 51 to 46 percent, with five percent undecided. At this point it is doubtful that those undecideds will break for Murray. If they do end up voting, history suggests they will break against the incumbent, especially in a wave year like this one.
In order for Murray to win, Democrats must “vote at a higher rate than response to [the] poll suggested.” But all indications suggest that even in Washington state, Democrats are just not that motivated this year, or, at the very least will be hard pressed to compete with Republican enthusiasm.
State Democrats and Murray’s supporters have long-insisted that the “enthusiasm gap” sweeping most of the country is minimal to non-existent in Washington state. However, PPP argues that the opposite is true:
Washington has one of the more severe enthusiasm gaps in the country. Barack Obama won the state by 17 points in 2008 but those planning to vote this year supported him by only a 7 point margin.
And it is certainly fair to question whether that remaining 7% still support Barack Obama...
This one will be close, closer than it should because Washington Democrats have cheated their way to victory before, most recently (and blatantly) in 2004. If Rossi can't clear it by at least 8-10,000 votes, we may see Dirty Patty get another six years....