Making it official hasn’t changed the numbers. Republican Dino Rossi is now formally challenging incumbent Democrat Patty Murray for the U.S. Senate in Washington, but the two candidates remain virtually tied as they have for months
A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in Washington finds Murray with 48% support while Rossi earns 47%. Two percent (2%) prefer some other candidate in the race, and four percent (4%) are undecided.
That’s essentially unchanged from earlier this month.
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% to 48%. During the same period, Rossi has earned 46% to 49%.
Any incumbent who earns less than 50% support at this stage of a campaign is considered potentially vulnerable. However, Washington is a Democratic leaning state which should provide a boost for the incumbent Democrat. Murray was reelected with 55% of the vote in 2004.
More data from the poll:
– 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.
– Fifty-two percent (52%) in Washington support repeal of the health care bill and 46% are opposed. This reflects a slight uptick in support for repeal from earlier in the month.
– Fifty-two percent (52%) of all voters in the state favor a law like Arizona’s in Washington, while 39% oppose such a law. Fifty-four percent (54%) believe police officers should be required to check the immigration status of anyone they stop for a traffic or other violation if they suspect that person is an illegal immigrant. Thirty-four percent (34%) oppose that requirement.