Democratic Senator Patty Murray remains in a tight race for reelection but has edged past potential Republican challengers in the latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Washington State voters.
Murray earns support from 49% of Likely Voters in Washington in a matchup with Dino Rossi, who picks up 47% support.
Sixty-seven percent (67%) of Washington voters identify Murray as at least somewhat liberal politically, but most (54%) regard her views as in the mainstream. Forty percent (40%) say her views are extreme.
Rossi is regarded as at least somewhat conservative by 79%, but 50% say heâs in the mainstream. Only 34% regard his views as extreme.
Washington voters will select the two finalists in the race on August 17 in a non-partisan primary. It is widely expected that Murray and Rossi will be the general election candidates.
If Clint Didier is her GOP opponent, Murray picks up 48% of the vote while the challenger gets 45%.
Businessman Paul Akers remains her weakest Republican opponent. She now captures 48% of the vote to his 42%. In all three matchups, 10% or less either prefer some other candidate or are undecided.
The new findings shift Washington from a Toss-Up state to Leans Democratic in theÂ Rasmussen Reports Senate Balance of Power summary. This ranking is based partly upon the benefits of incumbency that will help Murray and the fact that President Obama won the state in convincing fashion two years ago.
Two weeks ago, the Republican candidates were doing a bit better, but the overall tone of the race remains competitive.
Forty-two percent (42%) of Washington voters describe their personal finances as good or excellent, while16% say their finances are poor. Nineteen percent (19%) say their finances are getting better, but 44% say they are getting worse.
The survey of 750 Likely Voters in Washington was conducted on July 28, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.