A New SurveyUSA poll has some very bad news from incumbent Democratic Senator Patty Murray. In a possible Washington State Senate match-up between her and Dino Rossi, Murray is losing by 10 points. Murray currently gets 42% of likely voters compared to Rossi with 52%. Rossi ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2004 and 2008 on the Republican ticket. Many in the party have been trying to recruit Rossi, but, as of yet, he has not declared if he will run or not. Of course, poll numbers like this might help sway his decision.
The problem for Murray is that she appears to be in for a serious fight regardless if Rossi gets in the race or not. When Matched up against a long list of other less known possible Republican nominees, Murray maintains only a few point lead over all of them, but, and importantly, does not poll higher than 46%. From SurveyUSA:
* Against State Senator Don Benton, it’s Murray 46%, Denton 44%.
* Against former NFL player Clint Didier, it’s Murray 46%; Didier 44%.
* Against businessman Chris Widener, it’s Murray 45%, Widener 43%.
* Against Businessman Paul Akers, it’s Murray 45%, Akers 44%.
* Against doctor Art Coday, it’s Murray 45%, Coday 41%.
At this point Rossi clearly looks like the Republican’s best hope of taking the seat, but that could mainly just be a result of his currently high name recognition advantage. It is possible other Republican nominees would see their poll numbers increase once they were better known around the state. Regardless of who the Republican nominee eventually is, in this anti-incumbent environment, Murray is going to need to improve her standing with Washington voters.