The Campaign Spot

Will Dino Soar?

In Washington state, Republican Dino Rossi will run for Senate against incumbent Democrat Patty Murray.

A reader calls it the “best news out of Washington State since they invented the Windows program.”

Rossi lost the 2004 Washington governor’s race to Democrat Christine Gregoire by 133 votes, the closest margin for a governor’s race in U.S. history, in circumstances many Republicans suspected reeked of fraud. He lost a rematch in 2008 by six percentage points.

While Murray begins favored in a heavily Democratic state, Rossi seems well positioned to give her a much tougher race than the other, lesser-known Republicans already running.

UPDATE: It seems safe to say that Murray has never run as an incumbent in a political and economic environment like this. Washington’s unemployment rate the October before Patty Murray last faced voters, in 2004, was 5.4 percent.Washington unemployment when Patty Murray last faced voters before that, in 1998, was 4.4 percent. The time before that, in 1992, was 6.6 percent.Washington’s unemployment today: 9.2 percent; it was 9.9 percent in March.

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