Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cantwell in good shape

Maria Cantwell appears to be in a solid position for reelection next year, with a 50/36 approval spread and double digit leads against five prominent potential opponents we tested against her.

Cantwell is pretty universally well liked within her own party, at 80/7 with Democrats. She's also on narrowly positive ground with independents at 44/40 and has a 17% approval rating with Republicans, which is a decent amount of crossover support (we generally found Patty Murray with a single digit approval with GOP voters over the course of last year's campaign.)

The Republican who comes closest to Cantwell is an old favorite- Dino Rossi, who trails 53-40. Susan Hutchison and Dave Reichert do next best, both trailing by a 49-35 margin. Clint Didier trails 51-35 and Cathy McMorris Rodgers has the largest deficit at 50-31. Cantwell wins independent voters by 5-12 points in all of the match ups and picks up 8-9% of the Republican vote while only losing 2-5% of the Democratic vote.

Part of the reason Cantwell does so well in these match ups is that she has solid approval numbers. But it's also because none of the Republicans have very much statewide appeal. Hutchison has the 'best' favorability but that's a -5 spread with 19% of voters rating her favorably to 24% with a negative opinion. She's followed by McMorris Rodgers at -8 (13/21) , Reichert at -11 (25/36), Didier at -14 (14/28), and Rossi at -15 (37/52).

Cantwell's reasonably popular and the GOP doesn't have anyone good to run against her. Republicans may have missed out on their one good chance to win a Senate seat in Washington when they came up short against Patty Murray last year.

Full results here

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