Any half-objective review of Tuesday’s primary election can hardly conclude that Dino Rossi has much chance of turning U.S. Senator Patty Murray out of office.
Look at the I-5 corridor and you’ll see that Murray won it hands down. It is axiomatic in Washington’s statewide elections that winning the I-5 corridor counties virtually assures victory — not a guarantee, but highly probable.
From Whatcom to Clark counties, Murray won. The lone exception was Lewis County. No loss there. Had Murray lost one or two of Snohomish, Pierce, Skagit or Kitsap counties, that result would portend trouble in November. She held them all.
But it gets better for Washington’s senior senator when you peer into what is supposed to be “red” Eastern Washington. Sen. Murray also carried Spokane, Skamania, and Klickitat counties, a harbinger of her strength in areas that former state Sen. Rossi should have carried were he to draw realistic hope for victory three months hence.
Next comes the question of money, following the primary results. Big money investors won’t be betting heavily for Rossi, a two-time loser in elections for governor and a King County Republican who was trampled by Murray two-to-one in his home county. Within a month or so, I predict, the Senate Republican Campaign and Republican National Committees will bail on their financial support for Rossi. These committees are smart; they can read the I-5 corridor tea leaves.
All this notwithstanding, Murray will campaign like there’s no tomorrow. She will get lots of help from the business community to bolster a large and loyal Democratic turnout. I'd say she will win in November by getting 54-57 percent of the vote.
The main reason she'll win a new term is that most voters know that she has done a very good job representing our state in a most dysfunctional legislative body. Sure we can be mad about the poor economy, government deficits, wars abroad not paid for, a growing gulf between super rich and super poor, and stalled immigration reform. We also can be glad Sen. Murray has effectively won improved benefits for our veterans, fought tooth and nail to make sure the next U.S. Air Force tanker is made in the U.S.A., and successfully championed our interests on a wide front of other issues.
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