If there's one race where Democrats should make turnout their absolute top priority and see if the work of the Obama machine can be replicated when Obama's not on the ticket it's Washington.
Almost every major Senate race in the country this year has at least one candidate and sometimes both of them who are pretty unknown at this point. It makes sense in those races for the focus of the campaigns to be defining themselves and their opponents to the voters- the Rob Portmans and Lee Fishers and Pat Toomeys and Joe Sestaks of the world aren't real known and the perceptions that can be shaped of those candidates will go a long way toward determining who wins.
Washington's different though. Patty Murray and Dino Rossi both already have near 100% name recognition and it's going to be hard to change the feelings voters have about them after they've each already been through several major statewide campaigns. They're evenly divided in their feelings about Murray and feel slightly negatively toward Rossi. But the electorate is likely to skew more Republican this year than it did in either of Rossi's two losing campaigns for Governor, so that allows him to make up for his slight popularity gap.
Since voters in Washington already have their minds made up it really is, more than most races, just going to come down to who can turn out a bigger number of their voters. Murray has a much larger pool of potential voters to draw from but whether she can actually do it with the enthusiasm gap what it is is a different question. But I'd try to get some of the strongest Obama field people in Washington because it could be more critical there than just about anywhere else.
Democrats don't like Dino Rossi. He's getting virtually no support from people who voted for Barack Obama. He can't win without a major enthusiasm gap so if Murray closes that up she wins, end of story.
One other thing that needs to be noted on Washington: our preelection survey found supporters of Clint Didier and Paul Akers would go for Rossi 82-11 if he made it to the general election. That's overwhelming but it's also not 100-0 so don't expect that just because there were more Republican votes last night that there also will be in November. There won't be a ton of Didier and Akers supporters who defect but there could be enough to make a difference in what's looking like a 2-3 point race right now.