Patty Murray holds a narrow lead over Dino Rossi as she runs for reelection to the Senate in Washington, 49-46.
There's little doubt that Rossi will indeed be Murray's general election opponent. For the primary that will be held later this month Murray stands at 47% to 33% for Dino Rossi and only 10% and 4% respectively for Tea Party candidates Clint Didier and Paul Akers.
Rossi, unlike so many establishment Republican candidates, has been able to easily beat back the challenge from his right. 77% of conservative voters have a favorable opinion of him and he's winning 58% of their support to only 20% for Didier and 6% for Akers. With the exception of Charlie Crist most of the anointed Republicans who have struggled in their party's nomination contests- Trey Grayson, Sue Lowden, Jane Norton- did not start out their campaigns particularly well known, making them more vulnerable to a challenge from the right. With two Gubernatorial races under his belt that lack of visibility is not a problem for Rossi and as a result he should easily move onto November.
The Murray-Rossi contest will be more heavily decided than most this year sheerly by the ability of the candidates to get their supporters out to the polls. Unlike many races across the country that are susceptible to change as voters get to know the candidates better, virtually everyone in Washington already has an opinion about Murray and Rossi and it doesn't seem likely many voters are going to be persuaded away from their current views.
Both candidates are very polarizing. 46% of voters approve of the job Murray's doing while 45% disapprove. 86% of Democrats approve of her while 83% of Republicans disapprove of her. For Rossi 43% of voters have a favorable opinion of him while 48% see him unfavorably. 78% of Republicans like him while 84% of Democrats dislike him.
Given Rossi's complete lack of appeal to voters across party lines the only way he can win is for there to be a precipitous drop in Democratic turnout from 2008. This poll assumes an electorate that voted for Barack Obama by 10 points, a pretty large drop off from his actual 17 point victory in the state. But it looks like Rossi might need for Democratic turnout to be even more depressed than that if he's going to pull it out.
Full results here