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Gregoire Low In WA Poll

The top pollster in Washington State is out with a new survey that paints a grim picture for first-term incumbent Christine Gregoire, a Democrat. But the survey isn't universally good news for Gregoire's Republican opponent-in-waiting, former State Senator Dino Rossi, either.

The poll, conducted by respected independent pollster Stuart Elway, surveyed 405 registered voters around the state between 4/21-22 for a margin of error of +/- 4.9%. Gregoire and Rossi were tested.

General Election Matchup
(All / Sea / KCO / EWA / P/K)
Gregoire 43 / 54 / 41 / 27 / 35
Rossi 38 / 28 / 35 / 54 / 45

(Note: "Sea" is the city of Seattle; "KCO" is King County excluding Seattle; "EWA" is Eastern Washington; "P/K" is Pierce and Kitsap Counties)

Both candidates are under-performing in their base and setting up for a re-run of the 2004 race. Gregoire needs to do very well in heavily-Democratic Seattle, while Rossi needs a similarly large margin in heavily-Republican districts east of the Cascade Mountains.

Rossi ran so close to Gregoire in 2004 -- he lost by just over 100 votes after multiple recounts -- because of his strength in King County, traditionally Democratic territory where he still performed well. Rossi represented a State Senate district in the Cascade foothills, on the county's eastern edge. If Rossi can overtake Gregoire in the parts of King County outside of Seattle, he will have a great chance to take back the governor's mansion for Republicans for the first time since John Spellman was elected in 1980.