October 11, 2004

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In Our View: Governor Rossi (The Columbian, October 11, 2004)

Attorney General Christine Gregoire is an excellent gubernatorial candidate, which makes it exciting for Washington voters that her opponent, Dino Rossi, is even better.

Rossi, a Republican who left the state Senate to race for the governor's office, performed pure magic in balancing the 2003 budget. Despite facing the largest deficit in state history, he did it without raising taxes, and he reorganized programs to protect many vulnerable citizens. And to Southwest Washington's benefit, Rossi and state Sen. Joe Zarelli of Ridgefield know each other well from working closely together on the budget.

As chairman of the powerful Senate Ways and Means Committee, Rossi's solutions came with a bipartisan boost. State Sen. Darlene Fairley, a straight-shooting Democrat from Lake Forest Park and ranking member of the same committee, told the King County Journal that Rossi backs up political salesmanship with a nonpartisan approach. Others admire the fact that Rossi's conservative views come without preaching, antics or aggressive behavior. Perhaps the Republican's Democratic family roots allow moderation on key issues.

Rossi is hospitable and puts people at ease. In the Legislature and with citizens, he makes a point to find common ground with others.

Compared to Gregoire, who is an abrasive, even harsh, go-get-'em lawyer, Rossi shines.


Based on the polls this is a race where the President will have to go in and try winning the state in order to carry in Mr. Rossi and Senate candidate George Nethercutt.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 11, 2004 11:19 AM
Comments

I don't know about that. Rossi has consistently polled better than the President in WA, and the gov. race has been neck and neck for quite a while. I don't know that there's anyone who's going to vote for Bush here that isn't already voting for Rossi, but there are quite a few "Dino-crats" of various stripes out here. Bush can't win WA without Rossi winning, but Rossi can win without Bush winning WA. Hopefully the campaign has specific polling data that will let them know if that's true or not.

On the other hand, Rossi's good enough that all he needs is for voters to pay attention to him for a little bit. Some Bush attention might do that.

Posted by: Timothy at October 11, 2004 3:03 PM

"On the other hand, Rossi's good enough that all he needs is for voters to pay attention to him for a little bit. Some Bush attention might do that."

Agreed; that's the idea.

Every poll and map I see shows the Evergreen state as definitely blue and not up for grabs. I'm registering acquaintances to vote (for Bush) who previously have never voted. Orrin, what thinks ye? Can Washington be a red state?

Posted by: George at October 11, 2004 4:14 PM

George:

Why not? It has been in the past.

Posted by: oj at October 11, 2004 4:21 PM

The only way WA will be a Red State is if Puget Sound gets very lethargic, while the Eastern half and all the rural areas get very jazzed up. A Bush visit will only manage the latter, but the former is possible too.

Like in the MA poll referenced above, there are probably a lot of Bush/Rossi supporters who aren't telling the whole truth.

Posted by: Timothy at October 11, 2004 6:21 PM
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