September 12, 2006
Rasmussen 9/6 Poll: Cantwell +17

The major national polling firm Rasmussen Reports surveyed 500 likely Washington voters Sept. 6, after Republican challenger Mike McGavick's mishandled DUI confession hit the news cycle. The results (m.o.e. +/- 4.5%) have Democratic incumbent Maria Cantwell opening up a wider lead than even last February, of 17 percent now. Rasmussen notes that many voters were aware of why McGavick had recently been in the news, yet most polled were generally fairly forgiving about such incidents. Forgiving, but still concerned about transparency in this specific instance - rightly or wrongly - is my take. Cantwell's recent ethical dust-up over an unpaid loan still owed to her by former campaign manager, longtime associate and lobbyist Ron Dotzauer may not amount to much in the end. It would probably mean more if she owed him a loan. Subsequent polls may bring the gap between the candidates down a few points. Nonetheless, McGavick must somehow connect brilliantly with suburban swing voters to pull this one out. Terrorism (yes); transportation; a dual-pronged energy plan (oil and alternatives); earmarks/pork/federal budget bloat. Sure, he's been talking about this stuff already, and has some excellent ideas. The challenge - as always - is to actually get the right voters to listen. GOTV alone won't cut it in this race for the Rs. Mike's guys know that, they just have to dial it up to "12" now.

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at September 12, 2006 08:27 AM | Email This
1. 500 Washington likely voters from what area codes? 206? 425? Duh...

Posted by: katomar on September 12, 2006 08:50 AM
2. Katomar, perhaps they just called a few of those mail box places that so many Seattlites seem to be living in these days.

Posted by: TrueSoldier on September 12, 2006 09:04 AM
3. +++

The funny thing with a poll like this is that it is so skewered, that nobody on either side gives it much credence.

It was smart, very smart, down right brilliant of McGavick to take his lumps now so that he can rebound before November.


Also, if you click on 'the Results' link you can scroll down and find out that President Bush today has the highest approval ratings in a long time.


Posted by: Brent in Ferndale on September 12, 2006 09:09 AM
4. Hey kato, where do ya think most Washington voters live? 206? 425? Duh... yourself.

I'm sure Rasmussen is just making this stuff up to pull your chain.

Posted by: Unkl Witz on September 12, 2006 09:09 AM
5. No matter what this polls says or how questionable its methodology may be, Mike needs to get out and get back to making the news talking about the issues, talking about Maria and how she hid in her office 99% of her time in the senate.

He would probably be wasting his time anywhere in 206...

I think that election crunch time and the political silly season no longer starts with Labor Day. Now, and in the foreseeable future, it starts September 12th.

Today is Sept 12, Mike... GET BUSY.

Posted by: Cheryl on September 12, 2006 09:12 AM
6. so voters from washington should elect another republican to the senate to control federal spending and improve the war on terror?

that's like adding more fuel to the fire, isn't it?

wouldn't it be better to create a divided government so that some negotiation and oversight actually occur instead of say a bunch of rubber stamping?

Posted by: dineshj on September 12, 2006 09:31 AM
7. so voters from washington should elect another republican to the senate to control federal spending and improve the war on terror?

that's like adding more fuel to the fire, isn't it?

wouldn't it be better to create a divided government so that some negotiation and oversight actually occur instead of say a bunch of rubber stamping?

Posted by: dinesh on September 12, 2006 09:40 AM
8. wouldn't it be better to create a divided government so that some negotiation and oversight actually occur instead of say a bunch of rubber stamping? -Posted by dineshj at September 12, 2006 09:31 AM

If it were at all possible to have a more effective government, perhaps.

Unfortunately, this bunch on the other side of the divide don't want to negotiate, they want surrender.

This bunch on the other side of the divide don't want to debate problems, they want their way.

This bunch on the other side of the divide don't want to work with this president, they want to hang him.

This bunch on the other side of the divide don't want what's best for the country, they want what's best for their party.

This bunch on the other side of the divide don't want unity, they want power.

Posted by: Cheryl on September 12, 2006 09:41 AM
9. I find it comical that like minded people are accused of rubber stamping an idea when they agree with it - which is why they are like minded.

Dinish - do you call the Ds leaders stopping all their members even talking about social security - effectively silencing them and their first amendment rights rubber stamping? Or is it only Rs that rubber stamp?

Posted by: Fred on September 12, 2006 09:46 AM
10. Let's not forget. Texas this is not. Have a look at today to see what a Seattle Moonbat does to remember 9/11/2001.

Seattle is quickly becoming a volunteer leper colony for the extreme left.

McGavick needs to get past the Seattle "beat his head against the wall" style argument and appeal to the issues that matter to the average Joe. Wasting time on the freeway due to Democrat HOV lanes, paying high B&O taxes, watching tax dollars go down the toilet on Sound Transit. Failing to drill in ANWR and start more local sources of oil. Continuing to take the fight to violent Islam, etc.

Sitting their like a deer in the headlights over the whole DUI thing instead of taking charge is not the way to win.

Posted by: Jeff B. on September 12, 2006 09:50 AM
11. Wow Uncle Witz, that was astonishing. Actually, there are one hell of a lot of people who live outside King County in our state. The point i was trying to make is that King County is arguably blue. And if Rasmussen chose the most densely populated demographic of Washington, which is King County, to do their polling of a whopping 500 like voters in, of course Maria Cantwell is ahead! However, even though you would probably not like to acknowledge it, we have a whole "nother" half of our state to the east. And there is life outside King County!

Posted by: katomar on September 12, 2006 10:07 AM
12. Actually kato, polling was just invented last Saturday morning and they're still working out a few bugs like geographical diversity.

500 responses is a pretty good sample size for a state like Washington. I'm confident they made an adequate number of calls outside those reliably blue area codes.

Posted by: Unkl Witz on September 12, 2006 10:38 AM
13. Oh well, you're confident... we're so reassured...and convinced.

Posted by: Cheryl on September 12, 2006 10:41 AM
14. Lets keep in mind that rasmussen was the only one
who got it right during the 2004 presdential
elections. So I think he knows what he is doing.
If you look at what the latest zogby poll had
the race at. It would appear that he and rasmussen
are both pretty close. If you factor in the 4.5 margin
of error its probably more like a 12 to 13 point lead
for Cantwell. Still not a good sign for McGavick.

Posted by: phil spackman on September 12, 2006 10:46 AM
15. I may have said this before. Cantwell wins by 4+.

Posted by: Hinton on September 12, 2006 11:32 AM
16. fred: the d's are rubber-stampers too, but the term better fits those in power. both parties seek "party discipline" (i.e. rubber stamping).

the issue seems to be that a 1 party monopoly over congress and the executive seems to produce excessive federal spending and lame oversight (regardless of party--republicans have demonstrated that over the past 5+ years; dems for the decades prior to that when they had both congress and the executive).

divided govt. seems to be the answer, cheryl's hyperbole and paranoia notwithstanding.

Posted by: dinesh on September 12, 2006 11:43 AM
17. Uncle Witz:
Where do I think most Washington voters live? Here's the most current data I could come up with quickly:
Washington state population = 6,203,788
King County poulation = 1.8 million as of 2003, so let's say 2 million
Seattle population = 563,374

Gosh, looks like about 4 million other people do not live in Seattle or King County. Looks like around 30% of the voters can be found in King County. So it would appear that most of the voters in Washington state are all around you. You're surrounded!

Posted by: katomar on September 12, 2006 11:57 AM
18. Witz;
Another quick search, and these are 2004 numbers, so approximate:
Registered voters in Washington State = 3.48 million
Registered voters in King County = a little over 900,000.
Once again, around 30%. Stefan, who has up to date data base, can probably provide more accurate numbers, but it would appear that most of the voters are not "in Seattle"...

Posted by: katomar on September 12, 2006 12:18 PM
19. Not sure who you are trying to convince of what kato, but here are my points:

Washington is a blue state regardless of what numbers you dial.

Rasmussen's pollsters are not idiots. They've been doing this kind of thing for a long time and they know the requirements of random polling if you want a measure of accuracy. So their results are fairly credible even if you and Mike don't like them.

But if it would make you happy, you can do all your polling in Chelan County.

Posted by: Unkl Witz on September 12, 2006 12:41 PM
20. Witz, you are deliberately ignoring my simple rebuttal of your statement that most of the voters are in Seattle. That's all. Your points are much easier swallowed when you don't offer bogus statements as fact.

Posted by: katomar on September 12, 2006 12:51 PM
21. Ohhhh... I get it now. I thought you were trying to tell us that Rasmussen wasn't credible because he did all his polling in King County.

Posted by: Unkl Witz on September 12, 2006 01:07 PM
22. This poll isn't official until Ivan chimes in to gloat.

Posted by: SouthernRoots on September 12, 2006 01:26 PM
23. McGavik isn't catching on and won't drive people to the polls because there is no buzz. He is spending much of his time telling us he's nice and not much else. He doesn't like to fight. That does not translate into votes. That translates into yawns. I live in King County and I vote Republican but I haven't been given a reason to vote for the guy besides he's not Cantwell. You can't get enthusiastic about that kind of campaign.

Posted by: thatcher on September 12, 2006 01:27 PM
24. McGavick is your typical limp-wristed Republican candidate in Washington who's ego leads him to believe he can win an election by getting everyone to love him and being civil & above all the "destructive politics". That is a clear recipe for a LOSER!
McGavick should have disclosed this DUI incident several weeks earlier.
McGavick should have gone on the attack weeks ago.
His ads SUCK....particularly the one about him getting a paper route to pay for breaking a neighbor's window.
This is called an Election CONTEST in a Democrat leaning State.
It's a friggin' CONTEST!
You get votes from people who like you AND AND AND AND AND by cultivating votes by making people hate your opponent!
Likely way too late now. Only about a month until ballots go out for the November Election.
Politicians who challenge incumbents MUST put the incumbent on the defensive.
A challenger on the defensive (which McGavick has been almost the whole time) LOSES!!

Right now, McGavick has nothing to lose in my opinion. He might as well let it fly. Look at the ads going after Gerry Alexander hopefully propelling John Groen into a Supreme Court seat.
Now that is how to fight!!
Fight hard.
I'm tired of this pansy-a$$, civility bullsh*t!
Stand up and fight for what you believe in.
Stand up and duke it out with your incumbent opponent for God's sake!
No cajones.

Posted by: dude on September 12, 2006 01:39 PM
25. What is this county wrangling crap about? Without King County, a bunch of other counties lose population and Washington is a small state in which most of us probably aren't living anyway. Gee. OK. Whatever.

Rasmussen (which is, by the way, owned by a Republican) is a good firm. Not the best, granted, but good. Their polls agree with everyone who has recently released a poll. If I had to bet, Strategic Vision (a good, albeit partisan Republican pollster) will come in with something in the high single digits, thanks in part to a slightly more GOP lean and the newer Cantwell story.

Would anyone care to offer any proof as to how this poll is excessively Dem-biased, based on the internals or Rasmussen's record? There really isn't any. I believe it, even if I think it is probably a tad closer, especially now.

Posted by: Alcon on September 12, 2006 02:17 PM
26. This is the same pollster the McGavick campaign touted in August but this poll was taken after the 3 week long DUI blunder and after Cantwell finally went on the air.

It shows that McGavick's January-August campaign produced no gains by early September and is back to 35%. That means that if the election were held today, he's toast.

The analysis that concludes he needs to win big in the suburbs is interesting - but not supported by facts. A 17 point spread indicates trouble in all 39 counties.

My advice: ignore Mike's current plea for $40 dollars based on his claim that polls show him "neck-and-neck" and the race "too close to call" and send your money to a candidate you can trust and that has a chance of winning. The big bucks gang is already making the same call.

Posted by: redflag on September 12, 2006 06:05 PM
27. It appears to be an uphill fight for Mike - maybe a bit too early to write it off. He will need to make some big gains in the next month. When are their debates and how many ?

Posted by: KS on September 12, 2006 07:39 PM
28. This page is starting to pick up the profanely foul flavor of Horsesass.

One of the things that makes SoundPolitics worth looking at is that people generally have the courtesy to express their views - or have their arguments - in English a step above the level of sewage.

Stefan - any thoughts on this?

Posted by: ReaganROCKS! on September 12, 2006 09:00 PM

Posted by: Tonyaaz on October 6, 2006 02:17 PM
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