Ballots go out in the mail starting Wednesday in Washington state, and the latest Fox News poll has Republican Dino Rossi edging Sen. Patty Murray by one point in a race that is shaping up to be a real nail-biter heading into November. Rossi leads 47 percent to 46 percent, easily within the margin of error, but this represents a three point swing from a Sept. 25 Fox News poll that showed Murray leading. According to the new poll, voters aren’t too fond of either candidate — 49 percent view Rossi unfavorably, 48 percent view Murray unfavorably — as the tone of the race has become increasingly negative:
The negative tone of the campaign has no doubt added to the sour views of voters about the candidates. Just today, Murray is launching a rough new commercial that hammers Rossi, a Roman Catholic, for supporting restrictions on abortion and opposing government subsidies for contraceptives. Rossi has flayed Murray relentlessly for her votes on key Obama initiatives, like stimulus spending.
But even less popular in the state than either of the candidates are the policies of Obama. Forty-five percent of voters want to express opposition to Obama with their ballots while only 32 percent want to give Obama a boost.
Forty-two percent said that Obama’s polices have hurt the state’s economy compared to 23 percent who say they’ve helped. That 19-point disparity is up from 9 points in the first Fox battleground state survey last month.
Obama’s overall job approval in the state hovers at 44 percent, a far cry from the 57 percent Obama took in the state in the 2008 election.
The results come on the heels of revelations that Sen. Murray in the number two recipient of contributions from lobbyists and has helped steer federal money to employers of her former staff members (see here). It could be that Washington voters are starting to believe that Murray’s 18 years in Washington have changed her, and not for the better:
The candidates will face off in their first debate in Seattle on Thursday, Oct. 14.