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WA Elex Congress: McMorris Rodger v. Pakootas; Didier v. Newhouse

Congress may be unpopular, but in Eastern Washington’s 5th Congressional District, five-term incumbent Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers was not with voters casting ballots in Tuesday’s primary.

McMorris Rodgers, a member of the GOP leadership in the House, finished the evening with more than half the votes cast in the 10-county district. She’ll face Democrat Joe Pakootas, the chief executive officer of the Colville Tribe’s business operations, in the general election and said she was encouraged by the strong showing in the four-way primary.

“To me, it indicates the trust and confidence people have in my representation,” she said. “I’m someone a lot of people can relate to.”

The job ratings for Congress overall have been low for months, but people often have a better opinion of their own representative. But earlier Tuesday, a Washington Post-ABC News poll said Americans are more dissatisfied with their member of Congress than ever. The survey said 51 percent reported they either strongly disapprove or somewhat disapprove of the way their representative is  handling his or her job.

McMorris Rodgers had about 51.7 percent of the votes after county elections offices shut down for the night. Most will count more ballots on Wednesday, and results will be official on Aug. 19.

Pakootas, who finished the night with about 29 percent of the vote, acknowledged he has a tough challenge ahead but declared himself excited and energized by surviving the primary.

“I think it will be easier to run head-to-head” where voters can compare their records on job creation and economic views, he said.

One challenge, he added, will be to get more Democrats to the polls. Outside of Spokane, many county and legislative offices are held by Republicans who have no or only token Democratic opposition.

Two other challengers were eliminated. Independent Dave Wilson, who built and then sold a computer training school, tried to appeal to the disaffected voters unhappy with both parties in general and Congress in particular. Republican Tom Horne, a volunteer firefighter and retired engineer, ran to the right of McMorris Rodgers, criticizing Republican leadership in the House and calling for more challenges to President Obama.

In Central Washington’s wild primary for an open seat, a pair of Republicans will compete in the state’s first all-GOP congressional general election race. Eltopia farmer and former NFL player Clint Didier, a Tea Party favorite, has a commanding lead in the 12-person field with about 30 percent of the vote. He was almost 3,000 votes ahead of former state Ag Director Dan Newhouse, of Yakima, a mainstream Republican. With all counties reporting election night tallies, Newhouse has twice the votes of the Estakio Beltran, a Democrat in third place who was slightly ahead of Janea Holmquist, a Moses Lake legislator who gave up her Senate seat to run for Congress.

The race drew an even dozen candidates – eight Republicans, two Democrats and two independents. The Republicans all ran as conservatives who believe in smaller government, lower taxes and gun rights. In resumes and approaches to government, they represented a wide spectrum from mainstream to Tea Party.

Under the state’s top two primary system, the candidates with the most and second-most votes advance to the general election regardless of party.

Earth Day, from 2 perspectives

At Spin Control, we get a wide range of suggestions from e-mail, Twitter and Facebook on a wide variety of topics most days. But seldom do we get something with such a sharp dichotomy on the topic of the day, which is Earth Day.

We got word of a contest from Press the President, a group which describes itself as "a worldwide forum for unfiltered debate about U.S. issues that affect the globe." It's sponsoring a photo contest this month for people to show how they are helping the environment this spring, and even has some helpful tips, such as eat vegetarian one day a week, bring your own cup to the coffee stand rather than using one of their paper ones, or give somebody that Christmas present you don't like rather than throwing it out, or planting a garden. (Obviously their worldwide forum includes some real intellectual heavyweights and novel thinkers.)

Press the Prez, meet Clint Didier, Republican candidate for Congress in Washington's 4th Congressional District, who tweeted his favorite thing to do for Earth Day.

Just a hunch, but we're guessing Didier's photo wouldn't win anything in the photo contest.

Didier still not endorsing Rossi

Clint Didier, who placed third in last month’s U.S. Senate primary, just released a long letter to supporters explaining why he still can’t endorse fellow Republican Dino Rossi.

Although from the letter, one might argue that Didier doesn’t necessarily consider Rossi a fellow Republican, at least not until Rossi makes certain statements about taxes, federal spending and abortion.

Didier is headed to Washington, D.C., his spokeswoman Kathryn Serkes said, to take part in several events in the nation’s capital over the 9/11 weekend. But today he posted “An Open Letter to All Republicans” on his recently created website, takebackwashington.org .

In the letter,  the former NFL football player says he wants incumbent Democrat Patty Murray to lose as much as any Republican. But he feels he owes it to his supporters to endorse only a candidate who believes in limited government and individual liberty. He recounts the previously reported call he made to Rossi last month in which he asked Rossi to promise three things…,

Akers endorses Rossi

Republican Paul Akers, who finished a very distant fourth in last week’s U.S. Senate primary, is endorsing Dino Rossi in the race against Patty Murray.

“We have an unusual opportunity. The wind is at our back. We must unite and not allow our opponent to have even one more day to relish in any division that is amongst us,” he said in a press release issued Tuesday morning.

Akers is doing it without pre-conditions, unlike third-place finisher Clint Didier, who last week said he’d like to endorse Rossi, but first Dino would have to make an unequivocal statement against abortion, sign a pledge not to raise taxes and promise not to increase federal spending. Rossi’s campaign said he’s not going to “submit to a list of demands” from anyone, even someone he generally agrees with.

Of course with just 2.56 percent of the vote, one might argue that Akers is hardly in any position to issue demands.

And for those curious about the latest count in the Senate primary:

Murray   46.32%
Rossi     33.34%
Didier    12.68%
Akers      2.56%

11 other people split the rest

Rossi Won’t Accept Tea Partier’s Demands

Tea Party favorite Clint Didier said Friday he won’t endorse fellow Republican Dino Rossi in the Senate race against Patty Murray until Rossi agrees to take strong positions against abortion, taxes and government spending. Rossi’s campaign promptly replied that he won’t submit to “demands made by anyone, even people with whom he agrees.” Didier, who was endorsed by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Rep. Ron Paul, said that while he dearly wants “to send Patty Murray home with her pink slip in her hand,” he couldn’t make a halfhearted endorsement of Rossi and still remain true to supporters who gave him 12.5 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s primary/Associated Press. More here.

Question: Are you surprised that the Tea Party candidate for U.S. senator in Washington pulled only 12.5% of the vote, even with Sarah Palin’s endorsement?

WA Senate race Friday update

As predicted yesterday, Clint Didier did not endorse Dino Rossi this morning at a Seattle press conference. He did, however, lay down conditions under which he would endorse Rossi.

Rossi, who declined to submit to what his campaign called “a list of demands”, meanwhile, issued a challenge to Sen. Patty Murray to debate him six times before the primary, five in Washington state — with two in Seattle and the others scattered around to other cities — and one nationally televised debate. This might seem surprising to people who recall that Rossi declined to debate Didier and fellow Republican Paul Akers before the primary.

“Of course there will be debates,” replied Alex Glass, deputy campaign manager for Murray. The number and timing will depend on the schedule of the Senate, which returns to session in September. But Murray isn’t inclined to debate anywhere outside the state, Glass added. “This election is about the voters of Washington state.”

Didier said he would endorse Rossi if the Republican nominee would make an unequivocal anti-abortion stand, make a no-new-taxes pledge and promise not to increase federal spending. They weren’t a stretch for Rossi, Didier insisted, and they’re part of the party platform.

The Rossi campaign responded that he would work to reduce spending, improve the economy and put Washington residents back to work. But, the campaign added: “Dino will continue to campaign on the things he believes, and will not submit to a list of demands made by anyone, even people with whom he agrees, in Washington State or Washington, D.C.”

Before Didier’s morning press conference, there was some speculation he would announce a write-in campaign for the seat. But state law prohibits a person who is eliminated in the primary from mounting a write-in campaign in the general. Didier said he’d received messages from people encouraging him not to quit, and he and supporters plan to start a new organization called Taking Back Washington, which he’d explain at some future date.

Didier to announce…something…Friday

Unsuccessful Republican Senate candidate Clint Didier will hold a press conference Friday morning in Seattle. To announce what isn’t exactly clear.

Candidates who finish out of the winners’ circle in the primary often announce within the week that they are endorsing the party’s winner. It usually involves grasping the winner’s hand, patting him or her on the back,  and announcing that “whatever our differences may have been during primary, they are minor — miniscule, infinitessimal in fact — compared to our differences with the incumbent.” This is followed by a promise to do everything possible to see the former opponent who is now a trusted ally and valued friend, applause, kind words from the former opponent, smiles, more handshakes, raising grasped hands overhead and the blessing of party elders who   have prevailed upon the two former enemies to make nice and bury the hatchet for the good of the party.

So is that what’s going to happen on Friday? …

Primary over. Lessons learned?

Thousands of votes are still to be counted from Tuesday’s primary, but along with most races, some lessons are clear.
Lesson 1: It may be uncomfortable to be an incumbent this year, but it’s not fatal. Few incumbents were eliminated in the state’s unusual Top Two primary, but some clearly have their work ahead of them.
Count among them state Sen. Chris Marr, a Spokane businessman who received party acclaim four years ago as the first Democrat to win the seat in Spokane’s 6th District in six decades, but trails GOP challenger Mike Baumgartner in this primary.
Or ask Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker, a three-term Republican incumbent who faced two party challengers and finished second to Democrat Frank Malone.
U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and most sitting House members had an easy primary night, five-term Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen is trading the lead with Republican challenger John Koster in northwestern Washington’s 2nd District.
For all the knock against establishment candidates…

WA SEN: Republicans busy, busy

Dino Rossi announced he’s picked up the endorsement of Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who is one of the most visible and vocal fiscal conservatives in the Senate.

Paul Akers has a “meet and greet” later this week at a private residence in Spokane. It’s scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at 7411 E. 44th Ave.

Clint Didier released over the weekend a tough Internet video attacking Rossi, which seems to get some of its inspiration from that SNL Weekend Update routine: “Really”.

Didier on FMAP: More pork

While state officials were breathing a sigh of relief that the additional Medicaid money seemed to be moving through Congress months with U.S. Sen. Patty Murray’s help — staving off a state budget problem and the need for a possible special session in Olympia — one of her campaign opponents was blasting it as another “bail out.”

Republican Clint Didier said Murray was rewarding state Democrats, who control the Legislature and the governor’s office for fiscal irresponsibility.

“So now we have Sen. Murray passing another bail-out, but this time she’s bailing out her own Democrat Party in Washington state, and rewarding them for their fiscal irresponsibility. It’s what we’ve come to expect from an incumbent ‘bring home the pork’ politician. It’s hard to read it as anything other than another calculated move by a Senator whose reelection is in jeopardy. She’s not only trying to save some for votes for herself, but also reward the irresponsible spending by the State Democrats who dug themselves into a budget crisis in the Legislature. We wouldn’t have this budget crisis here if the state legislators had done their job and made the budget cuts that are needed.”

Didier suggested that cuts could have been made lots of places, not just in Medicaid services. But if they were going to cut Medicaid expenses, they should start with abortion.

To read today’s story on the Senate’s decision to cut off debate on Murray’s amendment to give the states an extra $16 billion in federal medical assistance percentages (FMAP) and $10 billion in education assistance for teachers’ salaries, click here.

Didier is trying to beat out another Republican, former state Sen. Dino Rossi and businessman Paul Akers, for the chance to go head-to-head against Murray in the fall. Rossi said previously he he wouldn’t support extra FMAP money unless it was offset by spending cuts. Wednesday night in Vancouver, he said he still didn’t support this measure: “It was done in a hasty manner. She put a permanent tax in place for a temporary fix, and she’s taking money from our troops,” he told The Columbian without elaborating. For more on Rossi, click here. 

U.S. Senate race: Murray ad hits air; poll shows challengers ahead

Sen. Patty Murray enlisted some veterans to help her with a campaign commercial that could help counter the ad blitz by a conservative business group.

A new poll suggests she has a reason to get out on the airwaves: Rasmussen Reports says Republican challengers Dino Rossi and Clint Didier both have 48 percent and she has 45 percent in head-to-head matchups.

Murray’s new ad hit the airwaves about a day after the American Action Network, a group that bills itself as a non-profit “think tank” to promote center-right policies, unleashed its “dirty tennis shoes on our backs” spot. The group’s board includes former Republican senators George Allen and Norm Coleman, and some executives from investment or drug firms, but it’s not technically a campaign ad because it only talks about Murray, not any of her opponents, and asks viewers to sign a petition to her. (You can read more about it, and see it,at this previous post.)

It’s not just on TV, it’s got prominent spots on some political blogs.

Murray’s ad features veterans from all the uniformed services who talk about things she’s done to help them either in the military or after they got out. Some are people Murray met during her terms, others came to the campaign offices and asked what they could do to help, a spokeswoman said.

And, unlike the think tank ad, Julie Edwards said, all are real people, none are actors.

The Rasmussen poll suggests a slight shift since June when “Murray and Rossi were tied as they have been in virtually every survey this year. Since the beginning of the year, Murray has earned 46% to 48% of the vote, while Rossi’s support has ranged from 46% to 49%.  Incumbents that fall short of 50% at this stage of a campaign are considered potentially vulnerable, but worrisome for Murray is that this is her poorest showing of the year. She was reelected to a third term in 2004 with 55% of the vote.”

The biggest shift is that Murray led Didier last month. Rasmussen also tested her strength against Republican Paul Akers, and Murray came out on top, 46% to 41%, but a slight shift from June’s 48-38 lead. The poll was conducted on July 14, which was after the dirty tennis shoe ad aired, but before Murray brought out the vets ad.

English-only only gets you so far

In the latest example of genuflecting to the supremacy of the English language, the Bonner County Republican Central Committee objected last week to the theme of the local county fair, which is “Fiesta at the Fair.”

Fiesta isn’t a good enough English word for them, so they decided to substitute “Celebrate” in their booth, which is their right. Just as the First Amendment guarantee of Free Speech includes the right to shut up, the guarantee of a Free Press surely includes the right to play editor and change someone’s wording. To complain that they chose a verb to replace a noun seems inordinately picky.

Before anyone shrugs their shoulders and writes this off as one of those quirky North Idahoisms, it must be noted that Clint Didier, a candidate for U.S. Senate in Washington, got big applause in Puyallup last week when he mentioned one of the planks of his platform: “English is the only language.”

Ron Paul endorses Didier

Former Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul endorsed Clint Didier in the U.S. Senate race in Washington state.

Paul, a Republican congressman from Texas who battled Sen. John McCain for the presidential nomination in 2008, called Didier a “dynamic leader who understands our Constitution and will fight against out-of-control government to restore our liberty.”

Paul’s announcement comes about two months after Didier received an endorsement from former Alaska governor and GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Although Paul didn’t win the nomination, it could carry weight in Washington state, where he did well in the precinct caucuses. It could also come with money from Paul’s political action committee, Liberty PAC.

Didier is trying to knock off Sen. Patty Murray, a three-term incumbent Democrat, but first has to finish first or second in Washington’s Top Two primary on Aug. 17. Because Murray is the only “name” Democrat in the race, she’s assumed to be a shoo-in for one spot in the 15-candidate field. That means Didier will have to beat out a field that includes former state Sen. Dino Rossi, a Republican with high name recognition from two previous statewide runs for governor.

Didier and Palin have called Rossi the GOP establishment candidate, and Didier has attempted to position himself as an outsider who is a true instrument of change. In a similar battle of establishment versus outsider candidacies in Kentucky, Paul’s son, Rand Paul, captured the GOP nomination.

Ron Paul’s endorsment press release can be found inside the blog.

Poll: Murray, Rossi still tied

Patty Murray and Dino Rossi are tied in the latest Rasmussen Reports poll, each with 47 percent of the people responding to automated calls on June 22.

A month ago, Rasmussen had the race at 48 percent Murray, 47 percent Rossi — which means there’s been no change in the race. Why? Because the survey of 500 people has a margin of error of 4.9 percent, so a 1 percent shift is meaningless. In fact, Rasmussen has essentially had the two candidates in the same ballpark for months: Murray has ranged from 46 percent to 48 percent, and Rossi from 49 percent to 46 percent.

When asked about a potential November matchup between the other two leading GOP candidates, Murray does slightly better. She leads Clint Didier 48 percent to 40 percent, and leads Paul Akers 48 percent to 38 percent.

One caveat about the poll: Each matchup contains a few percentage points for “some other candidate” which is apparently part of the automated script that’s read before the person is asked to press a button to show support for a candidate. In the general election in Washington, there is no “other candidate.” It’s just the two top voter getters from the Aug. 17 primary, and a space for a write in.

The poll also suggests Washington voters are about evenly split between supporting and opposing repeal of national Health Care Reform, about one in five considers  him or herself a member of the Tea Party movement, and three out of five think U.S. troops should be sent to the Mexican border to prevent illegal immigration. (Apparently they didn’t ask about sending troops to the Canadian border…)

To read more about the poll, click here to go to the Rasmussen site.

Shea went with Didier to meet Palin

Look closely at last week’s pictures of Clint Didier meeting Sarah Palin in the Tri-Cities, and Spokane residents might recognize another familiar face.

State Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley.

Shea accompanied Didier on the quick trip from the state GOP convention in Vancouver to the Tri-Cities when the U.S. Senate candidate had a meeting the former Alaska governor and vice presidential nominee.

Shea said this week he got a chance to meet Palin and mention a few state issues, but mostly Didier talked to her about federal issues. “She’s a terrific lady…very gracious.”

After the meeting, Palin said she was firmly behind Didier in part because he “didn’t wait to see what the lineup looked like” a not-so-veiled diss of GOP rival Dino Rossi.

So is Palin going to endorse Shea, too? It’d be a fairly safe endorsement, considering he’s running unopposed for a second term in the Valley’s 4th Legislative District.

Not likely, Shea said. “She’s focused more at the federal level.” And he was there for Didier, so it really didn’t come up.

Shea’s a big Didier supporter. Since he’ll have some time on his hands this campaign season, he’ll be travelling around the state campaigning for other candidates. There’s no plans at this point, however, for him to campaign with Didier, he added.

Didier meets with R. Paul; Dems take note

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Clint Didier probably has the most avid readership of his Twitter postings in an unlikely quarter.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Although the DSCC is not always the most careful reader, it seems

Rarely has Didier tweeted in recent days about his trip to Washington, D.C., without the DSCC taking note, and sending copies to its long list of media outlets. This afternoon, Didier tweeted, and the DSCC repeated:

“Just met with Ron Paul. What an inspirational leader! Makes me want to fight harder for Liberty! Pics to come.”

When the DSCC sent out its e-mail, however, the described it as a meeting with Rand Paul.

Note to the Democrats: Ron Paul is the congressman from Texas who ran for president in 2008 in the Republican primaries. Rand Paul is his son, running for Senate this year in Kentucky, who recently won the Republican primary. They do look a little bit alike, but Ron is, not surprisingly, considerably older. And is more likely to be in Washington, D.C. these days.

Rossi: We’ve still got more Facebook friends

Republican Senate candidate Dino Rossi is apparently a HUGE hit on Facebook.His campaign once again has proclaimed his success at getting Facebook “friends” is far superior to that of incumbent Sen. Patty Murray.

Rossi campaign news proclaimed this morning he had 25,276 friends, “more than double Sen. Patty Murray’s 11,796 followers.” While this is an admirable amount of amicus, one wonders what else the campaign is doing besides counting Facebook friends. As regular readers might recall, Spin Control noted the Rossi campaign was touting its Facebook numbers just under two weeks ago, when it had about 20,000 friends. 

At that time, we felt rather petulant about noting the Rossi campaign Web site really didn’t have much to do except watch a video of Dino’s campaign entry announcement, sign up for Facebook or Twitter, or donate. No issue statements, no bio, no campaign appearance schedule.

Twelve days later and what’s changed on the Web site? Nada.

In other online U.S. Senate campaign news, Clint Didier informed Twitter followers that he’s off to the other Washington. “Brings back a lot of old memories. I’m in this to win this.” Didier, it should be noted, is likely referring to memories of playing football for the Redskins, not any of that government/political stuff that is currently out of vogue.

For some reason, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee was so taken by the Didier whereabouts that it is passing it around, not the Didier campaign.

Palin in Tri-Cities?

Former vice presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is reportedly in the Tri-Cities.

We have to say reportedly because this information comes about third-hand:

State Democrats (yes, Democrats) report that Republican Senate candidate Clint Didier has tweeted that he has to make a quick trip to the T-C to meet with Palin. (“All geared up for the convention. Then I got the call from Sarah. I’m now getting ready to sit down with Sarah Palin.”)

And they sent a photo of a sign in front of a table at the state GOP convention in Vancouver that he was he’d be back after flying over to the Tri Cities to talk to Palin “about fundraising”.

No word on whether he’d try to bring Palin with him. She’s not on the schedule, but chances are the state GOP would clear a few minutes for her to address the crowd if she showed.

And Didier makes 12

OLYMPIA — Clint Didier made it an even dozen in the U.S. Senate race Thursday afternoon.

The Central Washington farmer and football coach, and former NFL player, was one of four candidates filing for the seat held by Democrat Patty Murray, who is seeking her fourth term.

The three best-known and better financed Republicans — Didier, Dino Rossi and Paul Akers — all filed Thursday. So did Bob Burr of Bellingham, a Democrat who said he’s unhappy with Murray’s refusal to support publicly financed political campaigns.

For those keeping track at home, that makes 5 Democrats, 5 Republicans and 2 “No party preference” candidates.

Democrats are having fun with the fact that Rossi signed up for the 2008 ballot as “Prefers GOP Party” but lists “Republican Party” this year. Not sure it’s something that will decide anyone’s vote, though.

For a complete list of the names on the Spokane area ballots thus far, go inside the blog.

Rossi entrance not clearing GOP field

ino Rossi’s long expected entrance into the U.S. Senate race did not prompt a mass exodus by other Republican candidates Wednesday. Several said they welcomed the competition of the former state senator who has been weighing the race for months.

Rossi, who announced his candidacy on the Internet early Wednesday morning after months of weighing his options, has statewide name recognition from two runs for governor and enters the race with the support of top Senate Republicans. But at least five active GOP candidates said they’ll stick in the race.

That includes state Sen. Don Benton of Vancouver, who has amassed a list of endorsements from GOP office holders, and former NFL player and Connell farmer Clint Didier who has the support of Sarah Palin.

Voters will now have a choice between a “GOP established candidate or a citizen statesman who is a part of the grass roots movement,” Didier said in a press release after Rossi’s 7 a.m. announcement was posted on the Internet.

Benton called Rossi a friend whom he will enjoy debating, while taking a shot at Rossi’s Washington, D.C., establishment backing: “We can no longer look to the establishment to turn our economy and our country around. The people want an independent voice that will take on both parties and stand up for common sense and fiscal responsibility.”

Sean Salazar, a Seattle chiropractor who specializes in sports injuries, offered to drop out months ago and support Rossi if the former gubernatorial candidate would get in the race then, spokeswoman Kandy Schendel said, but Rossi took too long to decide. “He’s not going anywhere. We’ve put so much work into this campaign, the volunteers are saying ‘You better not jump the race.’”

Salazar is building a coalition among voters that Rossi and some other Republicans ignore, such as Asian-Americans, African-Americans and Hispanics, she said.

Craig Williams, a PacifiCorp energy trader and real estate broker from Vancouver, said he considers Rossi and all the other GOP candidates friends and won’t run against them. “Our focus is Patty Murray.” He said while Rossi and others court the far right, he’ll seek support from a broader spectrum of Republicans, independents and Democrats in the Top Two primary.
“It’s really not a primary, it’s two general elections in a row,” Williams said.

Paul Akers, a Bellingham businessman, is staying in the race, a spokesman said. He released a statement saying his expertise in “empowering people and eliminating wasteful spending” was what the nation needed.

Skip Mercer, a Seattle physicist and professor at the University of Washington, will likely stay in the race but may run as an independent, his wife Lisa Mercer said. Skip Mercer is on a ship in the Philippine Sea doing research and may not even know that Rossi is formally in the race, she said.

Mercer’s campaign website has a picture of him with Rossi taken months ago. Whether he’ll remove the photo is “a decision he has yet to make,” she said

Only one candidate in the race Tuesday said he was getting out because Rossi was got in. Ed Torres of Orting, a general superintendent for a plumbing firm, said he was throwing his support to Rossi.

Another, Art Coday, a Shoreline physician, “is still in a decision-making process,” a spokesman said.

Palin backs Clint Didier for Senate

Clint Didier has something that the 10 or so other GOP candidates looking to challenge Patty Murray for the U.S. Senate don’t have… and we’re not talking about Super Bowl rings here.

Support from Sarah Palin.

The former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential candidate tweeted “be inspired by patriot running for U.S.Senate to serve his state & our country for all the right reasons!Go #86.”

The number is a reference to Didier’s NFL jersey, not a shout out to Special Agent Maxwell Smart.

This could definitely be considered an up and down week for Didier, with this being the high point, and a news report earlier in the week that the opponent of federal government spending is himself the recipient of some six figures worth of subsidies and other farm program payments from the federal government.

The ever-vigilant Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee took a break from firing volleys at not-yet candidate Dino Rossi to call Didier the “Tea Party candidate.” Which isn’t really a slam in some parts of the state.

WA Sen Race: Rollin’ in pollin’

Washington’s U.S. Senate race may not be on most people’s radar yet. But if you’re a pollster, you’ve gotta love a race with a three-term Democratic incumbent, 10 announced Republican challengers. one potential but unannounced Republican challenger and the national political machines ready to jump into anything with the slightest provocation.

Today there’s word of an Elway Poll which has Sen. Patty Murray up 51% to 34% over Dino Rossi, who’s thinking about the race but hasn’t committed to it yet. The same survey has her up 51% to 27% over Don Benton; 50% to 24% over Clint Didier and 50% to 26% over Paul Akers.

Which is a big difference from yesterday’s Rasmussen Report poll that was:

Murray 48% Rossi 46%
Murray 52% Benton 38%
Murray 51% Didier 36%
Murray 49% Akers 35%

Which was different from the mid April SurveyUSA poll that was:

Rossi 52% Murray 42%
Murray 46% Benton 44%
Murray 46% Didier 44%
Murray 45% Akers 44%

Which was different from the late March Research 2000 poll in Daily Kos that was:

Murray 52% Rossi 41% (they didn’t do the other candidates)

Which, in turn, was different from the Moore Information poll in late January, that was:

Rossi 45% Murray 43% (also did not do the other candidates)

So take your pick, but remember when partisans start talking about “the poll results”, you have to ask “Which poll results?”

College Republicans straw poll goes to Didier

The Washington College Republicans just released the results of the straw poll from their recent convention in Spokane, and they’re backing Clint Didier…although with a couple of caveats.

First, while there are 11 announced GOP candidates looking to oust Patty Murray in the U.S. Senate race this year, they only invited the ones “deemed most likely to win the primary.” Of that group, they had a few that declined, David Bergman of the Gonzaga College Republicans said.

Unfortunately, Craig Williams was unable to attend due to a conflict in his work schedule.  Sean Salazar opted to spend the weekend focused on the west side of the state, rather than accepting a request to speak before the gathering of College Republicans from across the state, in the county that contains the largest concentration of elected republicans in the 
state. Chris Widener was also unable to attend,” Bergman wrote in a press release.

So only four showed up. 

Then the group took two straw polls, one for all in attendance and one for just the College Republicans.

Didier finished with 75 percent of the votes in the first, with Paul Akers, Art Coday and Don Benton trailing far behind. Didier got 60 percent in the second, followed by Coday, Akers and Benton.