The Washington poll we'll put out tomorrow finds that by a 47-46 margin voters in the state would like Republicans to have control of the Senate for the next session of Congress. It also finds, like almost all recent polls, a lead for Patty Murray.
Dino Rossi isn't usually thought of as one of the weak Republican candidates this year along the lines of the Christine O'Donnells, Sharron Angles, and Joe Millers of the world but when you see voters in Washington wanting a Republican Senate but not wanting Dino you may as well add him to the list. And his favorability numbers are pretty poor with 49% of voters having an unfavorable opinion of him to only 44% who see him positively.
It was pretty much simultaneously earlier this year that Republicans were hoping Rossi would join the race in Washington and that Tommy Thompson would throw his hat in Wisconsin. Republicans got what they wanted in Washington but not in Wisconsin. In retrospect though they actually came out better in Wisconsin than in Washington.
Rossi and Thompson are both tired old politicians in a year when Americans aren't too fond of them. Our final poll in Wisconsin when Thompson was still considering the race found 44% of voters with an unfavorable opinion of him and only 40% with a positive one, numbers very similar to Rossi. Fast forward 7 months and compare those numbers for Thompson to what we found on our last poll for Ron Johnson- 46% favorable, 34% unfavorable and a solid lead over Russ Feingold. Republicans are much better off with the fresh face they got in Wisconsin than they are with the familiar one in Washington, even if that's not what they thought they wanted in the first part of this year.