A new poll by Crosscut/Elway shows Dino Rossi beating Democrat Kim Schrier by 10 points—49 to 39—in central Washington's toss-up Congressional race. Rossi still didn't crack 50, which is kinda funny, but it's no real comfort. Ten points is plenty, and the number contains a disturbing echo. Rossi beat Patty Murray by roughly ten points within the current boundaries of the 8th Congressional District during his failed campaign for the U.S. Senate in 2010.
Here are the big takeaways from the poll, according to Crosscut:
• Supporting a Supreme Court nominee accused of sexual assault aligns with support for Dino Rossi. During their polling of 400 registered voters, Crosscut/Elway found that Rossi's numbers surged during the Kavanaugh vote over the weekend. Their margins of error for before, during, and after the vote were pretty large, though. Rossi led Schrier by two points with a ±7 percent margin of error before the vote. He led her by 24 points with a ±9 percent margin of error during the weekend. And he led her by 10 points with a ±10.5 percent margin of error afterward.
• Elway couldn't be sure whether they caught a "blip" that will "even out over time," or if there's been a "real shift" that has "fundamentally altered the race." Nate Cohn, who runs The New York Times's Upshot, argues that the fight to prevent a serial liar from serving as a Supreme Court Justice seems to have helped GOP polling, at least during the last ten days.
House polls are going to be noisy, given the small sample size. And that's ok, and it applies to our own polling.
But take everything together, and, on balance, it's been a good 10 days of state/cd polling for the GOP in a lot of important battlegrounds https://t.co/nQv5lDynOW
— Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) October 10, 2018
• Rossi would really like to believe that support for him is genuinely about him and not the result of Mitch McConnell successfully convincing people that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford was used as a political pawn by the Democrats and not, as she said, testifying as part of her civic duty. Crosscut quotes Rossi's spokesperson saying, "We are certainly gratified that voters remember that Dino is a fiscal conservative with a social conscience" after several paragraphs about the role of the Kavanaugh vote, and I had to hold in a laugh.
• High turnout in the district will increase Rossi's chance of winning because he's doing well with people who vote 100 percent of the time and people who vote 50 percent of the time. Unless Schrier can motivate people who haven't voted before or who often don't vote (or who typically vote for Republicans), she's not going to win.
• The women of the 8th love their whiny boys:
Rossi’s spike in support came largely from women, who broke sharply for him over the weekend (see the gender breakdown in the chart below). Where Schrier had a small lead among women before Saturday, Rossi now leads by 14 percentage points among 204 surveyed women. He leads by 7 percentage points among the 196 men surveyed.
This finding is galling, but it tracks with previous polling that shows Schrier well behind her old Democratic rivals with independent women.
Now that the Republicans and Rossi and the women worried about the fates of their idiot sons have their boy on the bench, maybe the enthusiasm will die down in the coming days.