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Time to Hang Up the Tennis Shoes

Dino Rossi takes on Patty Murray.

Aug 30, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 47 • By WHITNEY BLAKE
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With the primary now behind him, Rossi will seek to win over primary voters who chose one of his competitors, notably the 12 percent who supported the Tea Party-backed candidate, former Washington Redskins tight end Clint Didier. In the state’s open “jungle” primary, 15 candidates competed for the top two slots. Murray got the largest share of the votes, leading Rossi by 13 points. But there was also good news for Republicans: GOP candidates together had 49.7 percent of the vote, Democrats only 48.8 percent, as this magazine went to press.

Victory could hinge on mobilization, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee is hoping the voter enthusiasm disparity this year will put Rossi over the top: A mid-August Survey USA poll found almost twice as many Republicans as Democrats—and four times as many conservatives as liberals—are more enthusiastic about this election than previous ones.

Going into the fall, Murray has the fatter campaign treasury ($3.2 million to Rossi’s $1.8 million) and a lingering edge in most polls. “Rossi still has the steeper hill to climb,” said pollster Elway. 

But it’s a hill, not a mountain. 

Whitney Blake is a writer living in Washington, D.C.

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