Marist poll puts Rossi within one point of Murray

posted at 11:36 am on October 20, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Close races are nothing new to Dino Rossi, and perhaps the third time will be the charm.  Democrats thought that Patty Murray had begun to put a little daylight between herself and Rossi, but a new poll from Marist shows the Democratic incumbent in Washington falling back into a virtual dead heat with her Republican challenger.  McClatchy calls this a “cliffhanger”:

With two weeks to go, the Washington state U.S. Senate race is a virtual dead heat, with Democratic Sen. Patty Murray holding a 1-point lead, 48-47 percent, over Republican challenger Dino Rossi among likely voters, according to a McClatchy-Marist poll released Tuesday.

The outcome could determine whether Republicans pick up the 10 seats they need to regain control of the Senate.

“This is indeed a cliffhanger, any way you carve up the numbers,” said Lee Miringoff, the director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., which conducted the survey. “The road to a Republican majority in the Senate could go through Washington state.”

Other recent polls have shown a volatile race, with Rossi having a slim lead in some and Murray up by 6 to 8 points in others.

Marist found 589 likely voters in a sample of 834 registered voters in Washington, including both land lines and cell phones.  The sample has a nine-point advantage for Democrats, 32/23, with 45% independents.  That’s a significantly different turnout model than exit polling showed for the 2008 presidential election, which had a 36/26/39 split.  The Marist poll shows about the same advantage for Democrats and a somewhat smaller Republican turnout for these midterms, both of which seem questionable choices given the political environment.

Also, the numbers don’t really seem to add up in the crosstabs.  Murray gets 96% of Democrats, and Rossi 94% of Republicans, which is not much of a surprise.  However, Rossi gets a 21-point lead among independents, 57/36.  Given that independents make up the largest part of the sample, one might expect the 21-point gap to more than make up for the natural nine-  to ten-point lead Murray gets among just the partisans, especially since independents are somewhat overrepresented in this model.  Yet Rossi trails by a point, 48/47.

The poll shows another dynamic with which Rossi is very familiar: regional swings.  Rossi loses the King County/Seattle region, where Christine Gregoire bested him in two recount-dependent gubernatorial elections.  However, he only trails 40/57 in this most liberal of all Washington regions, not a bad showing at all for a Republican.  Rossi wins all three of the remaining regions, two by significant majorities.

The big question here will be whether the turnout model actually works, and when any momentum came in this race.  Most Washington voters send their ballots in by mail; only in one county and a few other precincts will voters go to the polls on Election Day.   Will Rossi have closed the deal before this poll showed him closing the gap, and will the turnout model wind up being something a little more Republican than 2008’s model?  I’d bet the answer to both is yes.


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Comments

where Christine Gregoire bested him in two recount-dependent gubernatorial elections

To be fair, Ed, the 2008 race is one she fairly won, by a decent margin. The 2004 race was stolen, no question.

KingGold on October 20, 2010 at 11:41 AM

Gosh, this will make this bho work all the harder for murray when he comes to help her out! I hope his coming gives Rossi get a 20 point jump over murray!
L

letget on October 20, 2010 at 11:41 AM

Come on baby!

DarkCurrent on October 20, 2010 at 11:43 AM

All polling, all the time time for the next two weeks, and the accompanying endless speculation of what it really means.

Bishop on October 20, 2010 at 11:43 AM

Hmmmmm … that close huh? I suppose that means the democrats have a good chance at stealing it like they do all close elections.

Murray falls into the idiot grouping with Franken and a host of other democrats. How Washington ever elected that socialist clown is beyond me.

darwin on October 20, 2010 at 11:44 AM

…where Christine Gregoire bested him in two recount fraud-dependent gubernatorial elections

Fixed it for you.

irishspy on October 20, 2010 at 11:44 AM

We need to start shopping King County around. I don’t even care if we get a good price for it. Oregon? You could use a Space Needle and pro football team. British Columbia? You wouldn’t have to “reeducate” the inhabitants, they’re even more socialist and P.C. than you. Idaho? If you bought it and it soon disappeared, no one would ask any questions.

29Victor on October 20, 2010 at 11:45 AM

I’m going to be wary of this poll, just like the Sestak poll in the other thread. That being said, this at least could be possible because they were close. Sestak poll makes a swing of 12 points so not as believable.

sandee on October 20, 2010 at 11:46 AM

The polling occurred on the 17th. Was the story of Boeing getting kicked in the groin by Obamacare circulating by then?

forest on October 20, 2010 at 11:48 AM

Winds of Change be blowin’, and come November 2, they gonna be blowin’ hurricane force!

pilamaye on October 20, 2010 at 11:48 AM

3rd time’s the charm Dino.

portlandon on October 20, 2010 at 11:51 AM

They actually think less Republicans will show up this year than in 2008?

Rossi will win by 4-5 points.

kevinkristy on October 20, 2010 at 11:54 AM

As an East Coast guy, I am usually done with election night after a point. But Rossi, Fiorina, Miller and some interesting races in Hawaii. Its going to be a long freaking night.

swamp_yankee on October 20, 2010 at 11:55 AM

I am Brian72, and I approve of this poll.

Brian1972 on October 20, 2010 at 11:55 AM

The Nethicus poll of 388 Likely Registered People put the race 47% Rossi / 46% Murray, and 7% “I ain’t votin’ for the dinosaur from the Flintstones!”

Nethicus on October 20, 2010 at 11:59 AM

The .45 X x 21% advantage in indes = 9.045 % advantage for Rossi.

The 10% advantage amoung Dems means about 10% advantage for Murray.

So the 1% edge for Murray seems about right if the turnout projections are right.

KW64 on October 20, 2010 at 11:59 AM

Waves don’t get really big till they reach shore….right now this wave is still 13 days out…

PatriotRider on October 20, 2010 at 11:59 AM

The big question here will be whether the turnout model actually works, and when any momentum came in this race
========================================================

That will get sorted out on November 3,I would imagine!!

canopfor on October 20, 2010 at 12:01 PM

I saw several houses with both Obama and Rossi signs in 2008. Dino can win independents and Dems. I expect trickery from the Dems, but Dino is capable of winning this my a nice margin… maybe if Didier would get off his sorry ass and endorse him.

fiatboomer on October 20, 2010 at 12:02 PM

RUSH LIMBAUGH ON DA AIR ONLINE STREAMING,enjoy:)
=======================================================

http://radiotime.com/WebTuner.aspx?StationId=30538&ProgramId=20617&

canopfor on October 20, 2010 at 12:09 PM

Has Didier stopped sucking his thumb yet? This might be a good time for him to endorse Dino, if he hasn’t yet.

capitalist piglet on October 20, 2010 at 12:18 PM

I have decided that the pollsters…all of the pollsters…don’t have any clue what’s going to happen on November 2. None of them have ever experienced an election like this. And what’s worse, the last election was also extremely unusual. So, they’re throwing darts at a dartboard when it comes to projecting likely voter turnout, and party affiliation.

Add to that the fact that off year elections are notoriously difficult to project, almost as bad as primaries, and I don’t think anyone truly knows where we are.

I’m not even 100% certain we’ll take the House. On the other hand I wouldn’t be surprised to see a 70 seat GOP gain.

For the Senate, it’s not much better. Somewhere between 5 and 12 seats. You pick the number you like, and you’re just as likely to be correct as Rasmussen, SurveyUSA, Gallup, Zogby, etc.

So, cross your fingers and do whatever you can personally do to get our candidates over the finish line.

Then, when you get home from work on November 2, break out the popcorn, prop your feet up and turn on FNC. It’s gonna be a late night.

Chris of Rights on October 20, 2010 at 12:40 PM

Has Clint Didier Rossi’s primary opponent ever gotten on board and endorsed him? He better have. He was the only non-establishment primary loser that didn’t get on board with the nominee. If Rossi ends up losing narrowly, I really think he’s finally going to win, but if he loses a squeeker again, I’ll be POed at Didier.

lizzie beth on October 20, 2010 at 12:41 PM

lizzie beth, I’m looking for the latest on that, and I can’t find anything current about Didier’s endorsement – seems he took his ball, went home, and isn’t planning on coming out to play again.

What a jerk. I hope he is finished in politics.

capitalist piglet on October 20, 2010 at 12:54 PM

Loaded up on more popcorn this morning !
Might need a good stock of Red Bull, too, at this rate !

pambi on October 20, 2010 at 12:54 PM

the 2004 race was stolen, no question.

KingGold on October 20, 2010 at 11:41 AM

Box of votes in someone’s garage, and surprise, surprise, all for the Democrat.

John the Libertarian on October 20, 2010 at 1:03 PM

That Boeing announcement can’t be helpful to Murray. By comparison, if Procter & Gamble announced a big increase in health insurance premiums, Steve Driehaus in Ohio’s First District (west side of Cincinnati) would get completely blown out by the guy he beat in 2008, Steve Chabot, who’s opposing him now. Chabot probably has it anyway. But a P&G announcement (who knows, maybe it’s an October surprise) would probably prompt Driehaus to close his campaign office.

BuckeyeSam on October 20, 2010 at 1:17 PM

Seattle used to be such a nice town. I grew up there and I don’t really care if I go back.

JeffWeimer on October 20, 2010 at 1:20 PM

swamp_yankee on October 20, 2010 at 11:55 AM

you’ll be among awesome folks here at HA :)

just stock up on some red bull :)

cmsinaz on October 20, 2010 at 1:27 PM

Washington has a ballot initiative to institute an income tax on the ballot as well. Bill Gates Sr. is pushing it hard. If Murray wins, say hello to a new state income tax too.

angryed on October 20, 2010 at 1:36 PM

Washington has a ballot initiative to institute an income tax on the ballot as well. Bill Gates Sr. is pushing it hard. If Murray wins, say hello to a new state income tax too.

angryed on October 20, 2010 at 1:36 PM

I doubt it. Washington has shown time and time again, that even though they love democrats, they also love anti-tax initiatives.

Washington has a bunch of weird voters. They want their government handouts and a socialist nanny state, but want to cut government and taxes. Really NIMBY state, socialism for you but not for me.

I don’t trust any polls here that don’t include the multitude of “John Doe” homeless voters in Seattle.

Elfvis on October 20, 2010 at 2:03 PM

Not familiar with WA, but the more I learn about the Boeing memo, the more I think it could close the deal.

Those are some big numbers. Usually its a big deal if a company makes a decision impacting a couple hundred workers.

And this race is about passion. Those getting hikes will be fired up and its not just them, its their spouses, friends. Can you imagine the bar conversations at the after work pub near the plant.

We need to tie this around her neck.

swamp_yankee on October 20, 2010 at 2:07 PM

W

ashington has a ballot initiative to institute an income tax on the ballot as well. Bill Gates Sr. is pushing it hard. If Murray wins, say hello to a new state income tax too.

angryed on October 20, 2010 at 1:36 PM


I spent a week in Seattle last month. I tired quickly seeing the Gates Sr. promo. (He looks just like his son).

Washingtonians can count on an income tax if Murray wins.
A state income tax is like VD. Once you get it, it’s really really difficult to cure.

diogenes on October 20, 2010 at 2:09 PM

Fingers crossed that the Undecideds break to Rossi in the final 14 days.

Red State State of Mind on October 20, 2010 at 2:57 PM

Washington has a ballot initiative to institute an income tax on the ballot as well. Bill Gates Sr. is pushing it hard. If Murray wins, say hello to a new state income tax too.

angryed on October 20, 2010 at 1:36 PM

Exactly! I did my ballot last week. So the polls showing Murrary ahead were way after the voting had started.

On the WA state ballot there was the controversial tax on bottled water–twice.

One you voted it up or down. The other was buried in some stupid green funding for the schools.

You had to vote yes on one and no on the other to be consistent.

Democrats in Washington State are truly devious and will do anything to get there way.

petunia on October 20, 2010 at 5:05 PM

Anyone who watched that C-Span debate, or any portion thereof, immediately resolved to vote for Rossi. It was a shutout. Murray never scored a single point. She was incoherent and looked depressed the entire time. Most of her staff must have had to voluntarily go on suicide watch immediately thereafter!

Trochilus on October 20, 2010 at 5:51 PM

Anyone who watched that C-Span debate, or any portion thereof, immediately resolved to vote for Rossi. It was a shutout. Murray never scored a single point. She was incoherent and looked depressed the entire time. Most of her staff must have had to voluntarily go on suicide watch immediately thereafter!

Trochilus on October 20, 2010 at 5:51 PM

Ann Coulter labeled Patty Murray the stupidest woman in America.

slickwillie2001 on October 20, 2010 at 7:57 PM