As the Pennsylvania Senate race tightens, so does the race in Washington. McClatchy reports:
With two weeks to go, the Washington state U.S. Senate race is a virtual dead heat, with Democratic Sen. Patty Murray holding a 1-point lead, 48-47 percent, over Republican challenger Dino Rossi among likely voters, according to a McClatchy-Marist poll released Tuesday.
The outcome could determine whether Republicans pick up the 10 seats they need to regain control of the Senate.
"This is indeed a cliffhanger, any way you carve up the numbers," said Lee Miringoff, the director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., which conducted the survey. "The road to a Republican majority in the Senate could go through Washington state."
A Washington state Senate race poll conducted after Tuesday's primary shows that Republican nominee Dino Rossi has jumped out to a 7-point lead over incumbent Democrat Patty Murray. According to the SurveyUSA poll, Rossi leads Murray 52 percent to 47 percent. This is a significant change from three polls conducted in the past month, which showed Murray ahead by anywhere from 2 to 4 points.
But just as things are looking up for Rossi, his GOP primary opponent Clint Didier, a former pro-football player who had the backing of Sarah Palin, is refusing to endorse Rossi unless Rossi signs anti-tax, anti-spending, and pro-life pledges.
"If it's not me," Didier said on a radio program on May 28, "whoever it is, I'll get behind them. I'll work as hard for them as I did for me." But sometime since then Didier changed his mind. "I want to endorse Dino – I really do," Didier said at a press conference Friday, according to a transcript of prepared remarks. "I want to beat Patty Murray. I really want that." But Didier said he could only endorse Rossi upon three conditions.
Dino Rossi is the 10th man. Republicans need to pick up 10 Democratic seats in the midterm election to take control of the Senate. And they probably can’t do it without Rossi, a top-tier challenger in Washington to three-term Democrat Patty Murray. If he wins, Republicans have a realistic chance of gaining a Senate majority.
Dino Rossi will in fact make a bid for Senate, several media outletsare reporting. Rossi has long been rumored to be considering a run and will reportedly make his intentions known publicly as soon as Wednesday.
The GOP still stands a good chance of picking up perhaps 7 or more Senate seats in November, but Democrats caught a break last week when Tommy Thompson decided not to challenge Russ Feingold in Wisconsin and George Pataki announced he wouldn't run against Kirsten Gillibrand in New York.