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WA: 49% Murray, 46% Rossi (PPP 7/27-8/1)

Topics: poll , Washington


Public Policy Polling (D)
7/27-8/1/10; 1,204 likely voters, 2.8% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(PPP release)

Washington

2010 Senate: Primary (top 2 advance)
47% Murray (D), 33% Rossi (R), 10% Didier (R), 4% Akers (R)

2010 Senate: General Election
49% Murray (D), 46% Rossi (R) (chart)
50% Murray (R), 39% Didier (R) (chart)

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 49 / 47
Sen. Murray: 46 / 45

Favorable / Unfavorable
Paul Akers: 10 / 14
Clint Didier: 22 / 23
Dino Rossi: 43 / 48

 

Comments
Field Marshal:

Given the slight D bias from PPP, this race is a statistical dead heat.

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rdw4potus:

it's a statistical dead heat either way;-)

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jmartin4s:

Murray will win this likely 51% to 49% barring no gaffs or scandals.
FM, PPP has not D bias. They always nail their final results.
I always predicted this one would be tight. However, just wait for Nelcon to start bashing this poll and claim that Murray will win by double digits.

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Xenobion:

I'm really curious how Rossi will re-align his positions for a Senator over a Governor. He's been mum, probably to save embarrassment of losing a 3rd time in recent memory.

Anyways, open primary. I'll probably be voting Didier, the Tea Party candidate so he'll lose more easily to Murray. As you can see its a long shot though.

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Stillow:

Well some argue Rossi won his first bid for governor....until votes mysteriously appeared out of nowhere.....hey look over there, a trunk full of votes.

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Field Marshal:

it's a statistical dead heat either way;-)

TECHNICALLY, no since the MOE is 2.8% and the spread is 3%. ;o)

FM, PPP has not D bias. They always nail their final results.

They have had a slight D lean compared to other likely voter models.

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Farleftandproud:

This is not a dead heat. I have made calls for Murray, as well as for Joe Sestak. I have found a greater support for her and Obama in Seahawk land far greater than Eagle and Steeler land in PA.

I am starting to get more worried about Feingold than I am Murray, because WI has become such a battleground.

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Farleftandproud:

I also think Rossi will get slammed from women voters when they go to the polls; not that he is a sexist or anything, but the perception is that he challenged the woman governor twice and now he is challenging 3 term senator. I bet the gender gap in this election will be huge.

Hillary needs to make a trip out to Washington. She'll bring out the inner femminist in woman throughout the region.

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nick283:

Well, I'll be voting for Rossi again. I think he has a good chance. Southwestern Washington will be the key, but considering how much they abhor illegals there, if Obama or the Dems keep talking about immigration Murray will be in big trouble.

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Field Marshal:

This is not a dead heat. I have made calls for Murray, as well as for Joe Sestak. I have found a greater support for her and Obama in Seahawk land far greater than Eagle and Steeler land in PA.

That can only increase the chances of Rossi and Toomey winning.

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Farleftandproud:

Trust me, I save all my partisan drama for the blogs. I am very professional on the phone.

I am not bragging, because the competitive races, excluding the dismal candidates VT had for governor, I have a good record of being on winning campaigns.

I don't know Washington since I have only been there once, but it seems to have a more progressive base than PA, and the economy isn't great, but a lot better than PA

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Xenobion:

To respond to your comment FLAP, Rossi is very unpopular amongst women voters. He seriously got wounded by the Washington State Teachers Union which is of considerable clout in the state. Murray is nicked named the Senator in Soccer Shoes and is essentially brandishes similar traits of Sarah Palin (typically I'd say *ouch*) but its the down to earth approach. Instead of hockey mom's its soccer moms and Senator Murray is no Mama Grizzly to mess with. ;p

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Crimsonite:

Maybe enough Dems will vote like Xenobion for Didier so that the final two candidates are Rossi and Didier. Ha! Though practically impossible because people generally won't throw away their vote even to try and get a weaker opposition candidate (like voting in the opposite party's presidential primary to mess up the result), it would be hilarious if Murray was defeated in the primary due to that pattern of voting.

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StatyPolly:

Interesting article from The Independent, FM.

Unfortunately, I can't buy anything they write, since they published that piece in 1647, entitled "Inquisition? Meh. Doesn't hurt as much as you'd think".

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melvin:

Murray won by a small percentage back in 2004,but if the GOP wants to waste they're money in WA,Calif,and Wisc,go right ahead,because they're going to take much needed funding from States like ILL,NV,COL,FL,and NH.The Democrats are doing the same thing in NC.

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Xenobion:

Heh Crimsonite, logical approach but very doubtful. Strategic voting rarely works although I'll entertain the idea.

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Aaron_in_TX:

My dad always votes in the D primaries for who he thinks will be the weakest opponent. Didn't work out so well for him in 2008 with Obama v. Hillary though.

Strategic voters like that are usually extreme partisans already locked in, so they don't have much of an effect.

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Colton:

Melvin, perhaps you should refrain from commentary on Senate races in which you have little information on. Patty Murray won in 2004 by a margin of 12%. She did not win by a "small percentage." I've said before and I'll say it countless times until election day: This race is going to be an upset. Murray-in my opinion-is far more vulnerable than Boxer and Feingold. WA state has not had a Republican Senator since Gorton's defeat in 2000 in a recount against Cantwell (Republicans seem to be unlucky in this state when it comes to recounts). This year, more so than any other year in WA state, is going to be a year of strong showing by Republicans. Rossi has proven to be far more popular in election years over the Presidential candidate for the Republican Party. I am betting that he will be even more popular in a year that actually favors his party.

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Dave:

Really? Murray is counting on Rossi's unpopularity with the teachers unions to save her? Have you seen how popular teachers unions are lately?

On the other hand, FLAP was on the phone! So that's this race decided then.

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Gopherguy:

FM,

Technically yes, this is a dead heat. MOE applies to both numbers. So either candidate could be +/- 2.8 points.

In other words Murray could be as low as 46.2 and Rossi could be as high as 48.8. The numbers overlap, thus a dead heat.

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Colton:

And I've already mailed in my Primary ballot for Rossi! ;-)

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Aaron_in_TX:

"Have you seen how popular teachers unions are lately?"

LOL! Yeah, they are the devil. Because I want my kids' teachers to struggling at near-minimum wages working pt jobs on the side to make the rent in an expensive state like WA.

http://www.teachingtips.com/average-teacher-salaries/washington/

Salaries are from the 2006-2007 Washington state allocated teaching salaries for K-12 schools and reflect entry level wages.

Average Teacher Salary (Bachelor’s Degree): $31,808
Average Teacher Salary (Master’s Degree): $37,629
Average Teacher Salary (PhD): $42,710

Yeah, so they make about 30% more than the median per capita income for the state. Which is essentially the level teachers are at in every state, except a few exceptions both lower and higher. Damn those greedy teachers.

Of course, when people kids have poor teachers then people b**ch and moan at the district, but they don't want the taxes to pay the wages that would keep highly motivated individuals in the job more than 5 to 10 years.

Teacher attrition is anywhere from 40-70% in Washington:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/education/2002223610_retain30n.html

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Aaron_in_TX:

Oops, state 5-year retention rate for teachers was 72%. It was the poorer districts where it was really bad.

Still, losing close to 1 in 3 workers in 5 years is not particularly good. A teacher doesn't even become very good until 2-3 years in.

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Xenobion:

The Washington State Teacher's Union is the gold standard endorsement in this state. Most Republicans even have to bow before them to be viable. They are anything but unpopular in the state as a state that generally cares about education.

Washington Issues:
1. Transportation (Every governor has made this a priority)
2. Education
A far 3rd Taxes

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nick283:

Yeah, thats gotta be rough getting more than the median salary to work 35 hours a week 9 months a year... not to mention also getting full medical benefits for yourself and your family.

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Xenobion:

Well aren't you the glass half full guy Nick. Those teachers should be lucky if they could get a job flipping burgers for minimum wage with that mentality.

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Aaron_in_TX:

"not to mention also getting full medical benefits for yourself and your family. "

HA! My mom was a teacher and they took out about 1/3 of her check for the insurance, that's on top of taxes. It's not free.

" 35 hours a week 9 months a year"

It's more like 6 weeks vaca. Yeah, that is a perk, average vacation in the U.S. is 13 days, considerably less than every other industrialized country.

They don't get paid for non-teaching months, but you've obviously never been a teacher if you think they only put in 35 hrs/wk. If you think it's soooo easy to teach 30 or 40 snotty kids that you can't hit, you try it. If it was so cush, the attrition rate would be lower.


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CommonMan87:

nick283,

Criticizing teachers...really? Obviously you have never stepped foot in a classroom to try and teach. Teaching is one of the most stressful jobs out there and a lot of people who start out as teachers don't end as them. I can see you also pulled some numbers out of thin air. Teachers work more than 36 hours a week. They have to be at school for 8 hours a day, and often times, they have to do grading at home. Many teachers are probably in the 45-50 hours per week.

It's pretty insulting to question the work of teachers. They have some of the hardest jobs out there right now especially with class sizes of 30+. Do you even know what it's like to be in a room with 35 elementary kids who don't want to be there?

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Farleftandproud:

"melvin:
Murray won by a small percentage back in 2004,but if the GOP wants to waste they're money in WA,Calif,and Wisc,go right ahead,because they're going to take much needed funding from States like ILL,NV,COL,FL,and NH"

California, is definetely a waste of money for the GOP. Perhaps if Bay area voters, gays, hispanics,blacks and voters under 25 all stay home for the election, Fiorina could win, but it is unlikely. The marjuana ballot question will help boost turnout among younger voters. Boxer doesn't even have to say anything about pot legalization unless she is asked. She could still ride the tide and win handily.

Ill and Delaware at least have moderate GOP candidates, and Washington and WI, the GOP does have a shot, but I do think that the GOP's quest for power will not be as good as they think at the moment. The more radical people like Buck, Angle and Paul are, it could actually hurt the more moderate GOP candidates in the Northeast and Mid atlantic

You are correct Melvin. In florida, I predict that Crist may be our nation's last hope to bring some unity in politics. I know Obama has tried to be a Uniter, but the right wing, has been so hostile towards him, and I think they could have tried harder, or at least some of them could have. I think the way that most of the GOP has treated Obama has been reprehensible. Did I hope the first 8 months, it wasn't racial? Of course I did not want to think that Obama's ethnicity or race has to do with the right's hatred of him, but by the time the Birther theory came along, and than the "You lie" Comment from Rep. Wilson, my worst fears were realized.

Some people may think I love it when these far right politician make statements that are racist or insulting as a good thing. I don't see it as a good thing. It is disturbing when politicians are explicit about unconditionally banning abortion, taking away the 14th ammendment and denying that our president is even born here. It is absolutely scary when someone like Rand Paul questions the affectiveness of the civil rights act as well as the Americans with disabilities act. Besides if Rand Paul doesn't really believe these laws should be changed, why would be have brought it up out of a clear blue sky?

I do think there are some Republicans like Lugar, and Snowe who have tried to see bring the two sides together, but if this were the NFL, and Unsportsmanlike conduct was a penalty, I know which party would be the heaviest penalized. If ethics rules in sports applied to ethics rules in politics, there would be about 15 bums kicked out each year from both parties.

Whether it is John Ensign or CHarlie Rangel, they both have done unethical things, but in the long run, these scandals pale in comparison to arrogance, and legislative hatred targeted at gays, Hispanics or poor people. To me, none of these scandals annoys me the way that this new rise in white superiority and fear and seperatism that scares me the most about our nation and our future.


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Farleftandproud:

Actually, I think Dems have a chance to win in LA, NC and KY because one senator is under investigation and is a moral hypocrite, the other is an anarchist when it is in his best interests and the other is an incumbent senator who has spent little time in his home state, and has not been very affective on his committees. Clearly a mediocre senator.

Boxer, Feingold and Murray in contrast have some enemies, and some who think their liberal policies are corrupting America, but their principles on some issues like Iraq could have saved many lives had they been listened to. They have had influence on watering down many conservative legislation and fighting for vets, working families and the middle class.

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Dave:

Aaron: Trust me, I don't dispute your numbers. I wasn't trying to insult teachers at all (or unions for that matter). In fact, I'm in school studying to become one. My point was that I wouldn't count on teachers unions to put Murray over the top. Christie has gone at them in New Jersey, and Brady in Illinois, and they both haven't really been hurt by it. Perhaps Washington is different though.

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nick283:

I'm not trying to insult teachers. Just pointing out that they make better money than average, they get more vacation than average, they don't work a longer work week than most full-time employed people, and they get pretty good benefits. Also, they are paid for by taxes from a shrinking tax base of people who are being laid off and seeing their benefits dry up in this economy. As such, unions demanding constantly expanded benefits and pay are not as sympathetic of a cause as some would make them out to be.

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Colton:

On the contrary FLAP, I don't suppose you remember a little thing called Prop 8? If that can pass in CA, then Carly Fiorina is not as much as a long shot as you brand her to be. In any ordinary election year, Fiorina would be a long shot. This, however, is not an ordinary election cycle and no marijuana measure is going to change the anti-incumbency, anti-Democratic tide. If there is a large enough sentiment against incumbents and Democrats, then Fiorina could very well achieve victory. Granted, I still believe Rossi has the best chance at an upset.

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Cyril Washbrook:

Field Marshal, I'd like to know what you're basing your claims about PPP's house effects on. The notion of slicing off a few points supposedly to compensate for house effects is poor statistical practice in any case (I doubt your manipulation of the results is based on any statistical analysis, and it also reflects a misintereptation of what a house effect is), but the only house effect computation I've seen (from 538) shows that PPP has a Republican house effect. It's smaller than Rasmussen's, certainly, but if you want to talk about whether it has a Democratic or Republican lean, then the data I've seen suggest that it's the latter.

On another note, I'll take the opportunity to rant about my dislike of the term "statistical dead heat", which (1) statisticians should not use because it is deceptively uninformative, and (2) is easily and routinely used incorrectly by those who lack an understanding about what margins of error are. Too often, armchair commentators with little experience or competence with statistics claim that because a result is "within the margin of error", therefore it's a "statistical tie". This is often used as shorthand to imply or claim explicitly that the poll tells us that a race is deadlocked, which is of course not a conclusion that you can draw.

To use this poll as an example: to call it a "statistical tie" wrongly implies that, ceteris paribus, it is just as likely that Murray and Rossi are tied as it is that Murray is three points in the lead. As anyone with a rudimentary understanding of statistics knows, this is a false interpretation.

This diagram from Wikipedia (I couldn't bother graphing my own as it's about one o'clock in the morning over here) shows what's actually the case:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Marginoferror95.PNG

Take the green line, which is produced based on a sample size similar to the one in this poll. The graph takes a very simple example, where the proportion of the sample with some characteristic is 50% (e.g. 50% of respondents say they prefer Candidate X). The margin of error indicates that over a large number of samples, 95% of the time the population proportion (i.e. the true proportion among all members of the population of interest) lies within 3% of the proportion obtained.

But as the height of the curve at any given point shows, this does not mean that it is just as likely that the population mean is 47% as it is 50%. It is much more likely that 50% is the true population mean than 47%. In only 5% of samples could we expect to get a proportion more adverse than 47%.

How to interpret polls like this, then: you could legitimately state that, taking 95% confidence intervals around the obtained proportions, we cannot reject the null hypothesis that Murray and Rossi are tied. Even if the writer of a given post understood this to be the definition of "statistical dead heat", that certainly wouldn't be the impression created in the minds of others, and the fact that inaccurate conclusions are likely to be drawn means that it is not safe to use that term.

And just to round off this post: Field Marshal's post manages to rub me up the wrong way with respect to both house effects and the profoundly misleading term "statistical dead heat", by suggesting that knocking off a couple of points for "house effect" makes this a "statistical dead heat". Even if I accepted for the time being that "statistical dead heat" were a useful or meaningful term, that wouldn't justify the incorrect conflation of house effects and margin of error. The difference ought to be clear: house effects are a systematic phenomenon, whereas margins of error arise from random sampling error.

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