|Poll||Date||Sample||Heck (D)||Herrera (R)||Spread|
|Final Results||--||--||47.0||53.0||Herrera +6.0|
|SurveyUSA||10/24 - 10/26||640 LV||46||50||Herrera +4|
|SurveyUSA||10/10 - 10/12||579 LV||42||53||Herrera +11|
|The Hill/Penn, Schoen & Berland (D)||10/2 - 10/7||400 LV||40||42||Herrera +2|
|SurveyUSA||9/12 - 9/14||552 LV||43||52||Herrera +9|
|SurveyUSA||8/23 - 8/24||562 LV||41||54||Herrera +13|
|2008: Baird (D) 64%, Delavar (R) 36%||2008: Obama (D) 53%, McCain (R) 45%
|2006: Baird (D) 63%, Messmore (R) 37%||2004: Bush (R) 50%, Kerry (D) 48%
|2004: Baird(D) 62%, Crowson (R) 38%||2000: Bush (R) 48%, Gore (D) 46%|
10/29/10 -- Herrera is still at 50 percent, but Heck has closed here. We still think that if Murray is in a tight race then this district is going for Herrera, but it is no longer a sure thing for the GOP.
The southwestern portion of the state is what most people think of when they think about rural Washington: tall forests, lumberjacks in flannel shirts, small towns. Next to the 2nd District, it is Washington’s most rural district. But it is increasingly also a district made up of Portland’s exurbs and Olympia’s suburbs. The area has leaned Democratic since the 1930s, but has moved toward the Republicans in recent years.
Brian Baird nearly defeated GOP Representative Linda Smith in 1996. Smith ran (unsuccessfully) for the Senate in 1998, and Baird easily won the seat with 55 percent of the vote. Baird compiled a mildly liberal voting record. But this year he decided to hang up his spurs, and a competitive race ensued.
Both parties got the nominees they wanted. Republicans nominated state Rep. Jaime Herrera, a young state legislator with a moderate bent. Democrats nominated former state Rep. Denny Heck. On paper the two are fairly evenly matched in the district. But in the all-party primary, the Republicans out-polled the Democrats 54 percent to 43 percent. Herrera hasn’t received the endorsements of all of her primary opponents, meaning that she could be having trouble consolidating her base.