We're awarding two points to Gov. Chris Gregoire on our Guvometer, since she, like other Democrats, is benefiting from the financial meltdown and the fading of the Palin Effect. She's come up in recent polls, now back to a 50-48 lead over Dino Rossi. The state party's ploy of filing suit over Rossi's use of "GOP Party" rather than "Republican" is another winner for Gregoire. Even if the suit goes nowhere, it gets headlines and reminds confused voters that, yes, Dino is a member of the minority party.
Barack Obama has had a remarkable surge during the financial crisis, with voters apparently turning to a more steady leader than the erratic McCain. We think the same thing will happen with Gregoire, as the state economy sours. Rossi's vagueness and inexperience will start to translate into riskiness, even though his tax-cutting, pro-business stance is a positive. Look for Gregoire to make more cuts in the current budget, as she's been doing, to shore up the fiscal prudence side of her case.
Meanwhile, the second of five gubernatorial debates is Thursday night, Sept. 25, in Blaine, Wash. It will be taped by TVW for later broadcast.