In the Washington Senate primary, those candidates with an expressed preference for Democrats combined for 48.7% of the vote, with Patty Murray leading at 46.4%. Those candidates preferring Republicans combined for 49.7%, with Dino Rossi on top at 33.3%.
And yet, looking at SurveyUSA’s poll, Republicans are coming out of the primary energized and unified, Democrats are depressed, and Independents are ready to try someone new.
That’s the only way I can interpret this result: Rossi leads 52-45 (MoE 4). Rossi wins 90% of Republicans, Murray wins 88% of Democrats, and Rossi nabs 59% of Independents. With Murray keeping her base, the only explanation I have for this result is that Democrats are unhappy and not as likely to vote, as SUSA’s poll is of likely voters.
That said, I think some may have been afraid that there would be lingering resentment on the right of Rossi after he took so long to enter the race, giving others a chance to enter, especially when those others were perceived as being to Rossi’s right. But when Rossi pulls 94% of those who favor the TEA party movement, that’s clearly not an issue.
Of course, in Washington’s system there is no third party option. The top two vote getters in the primary, in this case Rossi and Murray, are the only options in November.