Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Didier: The Narrative and The Reality

There's yet another national wire story out today about Washington Republican U.S. Senate candidate Clint Didier using the "Tea Party vs. Establishment" narrative.  Didier, who has been endorsed by Sarah Palin, has consistently claimed the support of the Tea Party movement, true conservatives, and those who reside in rural Eastern Washington where he is from.

But is this narrative really true, or is it just campaign rhetoric?

The crosstabs of the recently conducted SurveyUSA poll of the August 17 Washington U.S. Senate primary reveal some surprising answers.

Among Washington voters who had a favorable view of the Tea Party movement, only 8% support Didier.  A whopping 67% support Dino Rossi, who Didier has claimed is the "establishment" candidate.  13% are undecided.

10% of those who consider themselves conservatives in ideology, back Didier, while Rossi gets 59%, with 16% undecided.

And Eastern Washigton residents give Eltopia native Didier 12%.  Rossi, a native of King County on the western side of the state,  has nearly three times as many Eastern Washington supporters at 32%, with 24% undecided.

Since a radical pro-life group released a video attacking Rossi over his stance on abortions inthe case of rape or incest this week, it is worth noting that 57% of pro-life voters prefer Rossi versus just 9% for Didier.

Across the board, those are grim numbers for Didier, certainly all out of proportion to the national media coverage he is receiving which is strictly a result of Palin's endorsement.  Didier is receiving no more than token support, even among the groups he claims to champion.

A couple of other noteworthy points.  Rossi, as I have pointed out repeatedly in the past, is the candidate that most inspires young people.  He enjoys 33% of the support from voters aged 18-34.  Rossi also enjoys a 36-29 advantage over Patty Murray among independents.  That's a good start, but I think he'll have to get close to 50% among independent voters to win.

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