June 16th, 2010
04:49 PM ET
12 years ago

Poll: Rossi front-runner in Washington GOP Senate race

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/27/art.rossi.cnn.jpg caption="A new poll indicates that Republican Dino Rossi is the GOP frontrunner in the Washington Senate race."]

(CNN) - Dino Rossi holds a large lead over two other Republican candidates in the battle to challenge Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, according to a new survey.

An Elway Poll of registered voters in Washington state indicates that 43 percent back Murray, who's bidding for a fourth term in the Senate, in the state's August 17 primary.

Thirty-one percent support Rossi, with fellow Republicans Clint Didier at five percent and Paul Akers at two percent. Seventeen-percent were undecided. Washington is the only state in the nation to hold a non-partisan primary, with the top two vote-getters advancing to the general election. Earlier this month California voters passed a referendum that would move the Golden state towards a similar system.

Rossi, who announced his candidacy last month, 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.

Rossi's announcement came just days after Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin endorsed Didier, a Tea Party favorite, farmer and former professional football player with the NFL's Washington Redskins. Didier himself has attacked Rossi as a firmly entrenched member of the Republican establishment. The third GOP candidate polled in the survey, Akers, is a businessman.

Didier is expected to meet with staffers at the National Republican Senatorial Committee while in the nation's capitol this week. The NRSC played a role in encouraging Rossi to run this year for the Senate. While in Washington, Didier also met with Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, according to a tweet Wednesday afternoon by the candidate.

Polls of Washington state voters conducted earlier this year suggested that Rossi, a former state senator, could be competitive with Murray, the so-called Senate "soccer mom." 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.

The Elway Poll indicates that Murray leads Rossi 47 to 40 percent in a hypothetical November matchup, with Murray leading Didier and Akers each by 14 points in general election showdowns.

The Elway Poll was conducted June 9-13, with 405 registered voters in Washington state questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn

Filed under: 2010 • Dino Rossi • Washington State
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. handful of votes

    well then I'm glad I voted for the dems those 10 times, the dems needed the support to over come the evil GOPers

    what will be difficult is to judge how many times I need to vote this time around...

    I wonder if ACORN has an estimate

    June 16, 2010 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  2. Riley

    Patty Murray will be soundly defeated in her reelection bid, just as many other democrats who backed Obama's reckless spending policies.

    June 16, 2010 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  3. independent

    "a political consensus builder with a proven ability to build bipartisan coalitions"

    With this kind of credential, he won't be getting the 'Tea Party' endorsement.

    June 16, 2010 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    Enter GOPers stage right, unable to control impulse to claim that this guy's lead over other GOPers has something to do with whether he'll do well at all in the general election...

    June 16, 2010 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  5. Chuck

    >>Patty Murray will be soundly defeated in her reelection bid, just as many other democrats who backed Obama's reckless spending policies.

    You say you still believe in the tooth fairy?

    June 16, 2010 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  6. Pocket full of money

    well then I'm glad I got all that corporate payoff money to help buy the office for GOP to overcome those stupid help the real people dems

    what will be difficult is to judge how much money I need to get people to vote against their own interests this time around...

    I sure am glad that ACORN got its funding pulled and went bankrupt before the video was proven to be deceptively edited and ACORN was cleared of any wrongdoing

    June 16, 2010 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  7. HS

    If at first (or second) you don't succeed, try, try again. It will be rich to hear the GOP talk about fiscal restraint in this campaign after years of Republicans (Reagan, Bush 1, and Bush 2) _increasing_ the deficit every single year. The only balanced budgets since the 70's were under the Clinton administration. How many balanced budgets did the Republicans pass when they controlled Congress? None! How many unbalanced budgets did Bush veto? None! Republicans only complain about government spending when they're not in control of the purse strings.

    June 16, 2010 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  8. Mary

    I'm voting for anyone other than Murray. She's done here in WA..so is Gregoire. Not even corrupt King County will save them this time. When the Union workers at Boeing are disgusted with our politicians, you know you've got huge problems.

    Giving Democrats complete control of our country and our state has awakened a sleeping giant. November can't get here soon enough. Can't wait to vote these people out of office and begin to undo the damage they have caused.

    A side note: Democrats have controlled both chambers of congress along with the purse strings in DC since January of 2007. Convenient how the media never reminds us of that fact. They just keep bashing Bush although it was the Democrats who created and signed the bail out Bills into law to begin with. They all share the blame for the state of our country.

    June 16, 2010 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  9. Allen in Hartwell GA

    All the people running around saying that they want to "take back the government" want to take it back to the days similar to a Gingrich-run Congress and a Cheny-run White House.
    Is this what Washingtonians want?
    I think Sen. Murray has done a good job of representing the people of Washington, and she deserves to be reelected.

    June 16, 2010 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  10. Dustin

    They must have forgot to poll people in eastern Washington. Trust me, Didier has way more than 5% of the vote.

    June 16, 2010 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |

    Since Rossi had his election stolen from him by canvasing boards
    who decided the "true intent" of voters who voted twice, he deserves
    another chance. It's always better to win an honest election than it is
    to lose a dishonest one.

    June 16, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  12. they call me "tater salad"

    With a name like Dino Rossi I'm sure it won't be long before Don Vito Corleone and Luca Brazzi give him their endorsment!

    June 16, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  13. harold

    Whats Rossi going to do for the USA or Washigton state?.. He beleives in small government,... and says small government will clean up the Oil Spill and also win the WAR on Terrorism.. So if you like those odds... small govnenment winning anything in this time of WAR...better buy some real estate from Rossi also.... Small real Estate......... that is..or small plots... and in the USA?

    June 16, 2010 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  14. harold

    The last time the republicans balanced the budget in the USA was 1930.. during their Great Depression.... that helped all the people selling apples on the street corner eh?...See historynet.com.... balanced budget 1930... and the Bonus Marchers 1932.... historynet.com.....for more information on the Republicans...

    June 16, 2010 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  15. Kelby in Houston, Texas

    I have said this before and I will say it again.
    your Polls mean nothing.
    Polls, ALL POLLS,
    The ones that make me feel good
    And the ones that make me feel bad
    I have never participated in any of these polls.
    Have you?
    Do you know ANYBODY who has participated in any of these polls?
    Who is asking the questions?
    Who is paying them to ask these questions?
    What questions are they asking?
    What are their political leanings?
    The only poll that actually matters is the one that we all participate in.

    June 16, 2010 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  16. DENNA

    Oh yah. Another fiscal conservative. Know what that means? If you aren't rich already, you don't count. Seriously, I don't think illegal immigrants are as big a threat to the U.S. as the GOP. At least the immigrants are grateful to be here and they work for the money instead of saying no and collecting a pay check. In NOvember, vote NO to the Party of NO.

    June 16, 2010 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  17. the man

    Goodbye patty

    June 16, 2010 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |