May 27th, 2010
04:34 PM ET
5 years ago

Handicappers: Washington state Senate race now in play

Dino Rossi announced Wednesday that he was running for Senate in Washington.
Dino Rossi announced Wednesday that he was running for Senate in Washington.

Washington (CNN) – Two well respected non-partisan political handicappers say Republican Dino Rossi's entrance into this year's Senate battle in Washington state is putting the Democratic-held seat into play.

Rossi officially announced his bid Wednesday.

Thursday, the Cook Political Report moved its rating of the contest from "solid Democrat" to "toss up" and the Rothenberg Political Report changed its classification from "safe" for Sen. Patty Murray, the Democratic incumbent, to a "narrow advantage for the Democrats."

Rossi, currently a commercial real estate investor, is arguably the best known Republican in Washington state, thanks to his two bids for governor. In an election that went into overtime, Rossi lost to Democrat Christine Gregoire by just a handful of votes six years ago. He was again defeated in a 2008 rematch by a wider margin.

Polls of Washington state voters conducted earlier this year suggest that Rossi, a former state senator, could be competitive with the three-term Murray, the so-called Senate "soccer mom" whose approval rating is hovering around 50 percent among Washington state voters. But Murray is sitting on a formidable $6 million campaign war chest, according to disclosures filed with the Federal Elections Commission at the end of March, and handily won her reelection bids in 1998 and 2004.

Rossi's announcement came just days after Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin endorsed another Republican running for the seat, Tea Party favorite and formal NFL player Clint Didier. Didier himself has attacked Rossi as a firmly entrenched member of the Republican establishment. Washington state holds its primary on August 17.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: 2010 • Washington
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Tommy Young

    3 terms is enough. She needs to go for that reason alone.

    May 27, 2010 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  2. FRANK - LAS VEGAS

    The GOP only thinks the seat is in play. The American do not want another GOPer who only knows how to say NO and stick with the party talking points, lies and political games.

    Vote NO in NOvember to the party of NO.

    May 27, 2010 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  3. susanj

    What a goofy looking guy he is.

    May 27, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  4. awaitingmoderationby CNN

    Hopefully another crooked corrupt Obama supporter who voted against the hard working American people's will on Obozocare will bite the dust. Remember our debt is currently 93% of GDP and the liberal idiocy has bare kicked in. Impeach Obozo.

    May 27, 2010 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  5. riley

    The dems are going down and going down hard. Thanks to Obama, Pelosi and Reid.

    May 27, 2010 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  6. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    OK, so this guy has lost four consecutive state-wide elections. Does the name Harold Stassen strike a familiar note?

    May 27, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  7. Tommy Young

    We need more people to say NO. What kind of parent never says NO to their children? What kind of boss never says NO to his employees?

    May 27, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  8. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Murray is rock solid and a million times better than this real estate vulture. Don't we have enough billionaires on the West Coast trying to buy their way into office?

    May 27, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  9. Victim of idiot liberals

    Go Rossi Go

    May 27, 2010 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  10. ficheye

    Rossi will lose... again. All of you right wingers here can complain all you want. You know nothing of Murrays record... or Rossi's for that matter.

    No to the party of no... no ideas, no discourse, no sense. The Dems are almost the same as the party of no, except a little less likely to give business interests a free pass... like, down there in the Gulf, with all of that nasty oil.

    May 27, 2010 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  11. Sgt. USMC

    He's like the little engine that could... keep chuggin away buddy, one day you might make it. Or not.

    May 27, 2010 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  12. Mat

    Note to the tea Party... As soon as you use the derogatory names of "Obozo", "Nobama", "Liar in Chief" et al, you lose any credibility you may be trying to gain with Middle America.

    May 27, 2010 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  13. Voice of Reason

    Welcome to the race Rossi – you can start slinging mud and telling lies.... NOW.

    I 'endured' through this snake-oil salesman's first two runs at governorship here, and have been less than impressed. He doesnt tell the truth. He was a GWB partisian die-hard 100%. And to make it all worse, he's a real-estate investor. After years in the real-estate business, i've never met one that wasnt as crooked as a dog's hind leg.

    Patty Murray has fought for this state consistently. WRT Boeing and the interests of business here, she has worked tirelessly, and consistently gotten results. Anyone who votes for Rossi is throwing away common sense in favor of blind partisanship.

    May 27, 2010 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  14. Common Cents

    This guy has about as much personality as "pocket lint!"

    (Shouting) NEXT!

    May 27, 2010 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  15. James M. Holmes

    I see the media is still trying top stick to their "The Dems are in big trouble" storyline – even though the polls and the results we have seen in the special elections lately prove it to be false!

    CNN, you are a joke!

    May 27, 2010 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  16. IndependentThinker

    I'm an independent and Rossi already has my vote. He's not a career politician. He's in touch with the realities of this country. Murray doesn't know the people she represents. She's done more to harm me than help me.

    And as far as his prior races, the Governor election in 2004 was stolen from him (it took 3 or 4 recounts to get Gregoire into office, and the difference was less than 200 votes).

    May 27, 2010 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  17. Rickster

    Rossi was elected Governor of Washington a few years ago but, after several "recounts", the lunatic democrat candidate mysteriously came out ahead at which time the recounts were called off and the loon was declared the winner. I know, nothing new there...just another example of democrats and their corruption.

    May 27, 2010 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  18. Larry

    Commercial real estate investor?

    That's unfair politics. He gets name recognition from all those signs realtors put out.

    May 27, 2010 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  19. Lynne WA state

    Rossi is 0 for 2 here in Washington state against A) democrats and B) Women. He says he wants tax cuts for businesses, but what he means is tax cuts for BIG businesses, not small local businesses. He wants the state budget to be cut but then also expects all of the state offices to run at 100% efficiency on a 50% budget, 100% services on a 50% budget, 100% excellent services with less than 50% staffing.

    I work for an agency of the state of Washington and every day I see those people like Rossi that want there cake and to be able to eat it too! They fuss about having taxes cut and the state budget cut, but heaven forbid they have to wait for services...then they want your head on a platter. I work on a team of 3 that really should be a team of 7 or 8....wait times for services use to be 20 to 25 minutes, now there are more like 2 hrs.

    You do the math on how good Rossi would be for Washington State

    May 27, 2010 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  20. JonDie

    If you run enough times you'll probably eventually win just because people know who you are.

    May 27, 2010 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  21. steve

    patty needs to go.. she is useless.. she votes for more handouts and doesnt do crap...... ... she her packing. .. she and all of congress are part of the problem. they want us to change but they dont want change.... ie health care ... why didnt congress go for the same thing we have and get off the govt program...

    take adam smith with you as well..

    puyallup. wa

    May 27, 2010 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  22. Obama2012

    All of you idiotic conservaturds need to shut the ef up! You LOST the election, just like your gonna LOOSE this one, AGAIN!

    All you do is side with big biz and religious freaks at a detriment to your own interests. IDIOTS!!!

    May 27, 2010 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  23. valwayne

    Sen Murray voted for the corrupt stimulous bill, the corrupt vote buying in the Senate, and then the corrupt healtcare bill. Watch the federal Government deal with the oil spill in the Gulf and then tell me you're happy Sen Murray voted to put the Federal Government in charge of the healthcare of the entire nation. 9.9% UNEMPLOYMENT, Massive corrupt spending and debt, massive corrupt vote buying. That's what Sen Murray has voted for, and if she gets back into office it will be more of the same!

    May 27, 2010 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  24. obama victim

    anyone time a dem goes down............the world gets better

    May 27, 2010 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |