Back when Democrat Patty Murray got several good polls all at once, taking nearly double digit leads over Republican Dino Rossi in the Washington Senate race, I didn’t think it was a fundamental shift of public opinion. I called it a “good week,” and when her leads dropped, I said the race was returning to a tie.
The new Rasmussen suggests I was right and in fact the Washington Senate race may take on the form of the Nevada one: very close.
In fact Rossi shows one of those very tiny leads that is essentially a tie: 48-47 (MoE 4), for a 54/46 split, clearly in coin flip range. Add in SurveyUSA’s 50-48 in favor of Murray, and the pair of polls two weeks ago at Murray +9 becomes old news.
The reason I bring up the Nevada comparison is that so far, this race’s polls have traced a shape similar to the Nevada pattern. The Republican challenger took a very early lead, dropped significantly, and finally bounced back into a tie. If Washington is a race that stays close the whole way then it could become a high leverage state like Nevada, too, because I believe most of the state’s population is all in the Seattle media market. Portland will also matter, but given that they are the 13th and 23rd largest media markets in America, the state is still a bargain when compared with California or Illinois.