U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.)'s reelection campaign


I got on her fundraising mailing list somehow. Washington State’s junior U.S. Senator is running against GOP State Senator Michael Baumgartner for a third term. Cantwell seems to be running comfortably ahead in the polls.

Any Washington Staters here on the SDMB? What’s the straight dope? Any campaign observations, thoughts or gripes?

It’s getting very little attention. Cantwell is relatively popular. Baumgartner is almost completely unknown. Perhaps as we get closer to November he’ll make a move. I’m sure it will end up around 55/45 for Cantwell, just based on the number of voters in Washington who always vote Republican.

Cantwell’s a good Senator, and I say that as a conservative, although I don’t live in Washington. It’s the other WA Senator I wish would just go away.

Any question in particular?

She got 56% of the primary vote; the top Republican got 30% and all of the Republicans added together only got 41%. She’s likely to win. The more interesting race in the state is for Governor. It’s an open seat, the primary was very close, and it’s winner will have quite an impact on the direction of the state.

If there’s a high conservative turnout to vote for the Republican-preferring candidate for Governor and against same sex marriage (also on the ballot in November), it could hurt her chances. But she’s probably going to have another term.

OK, thanks. Just about what I needed to know.

Others have covered this well, so I’ll just add that it looks like Cantwell’s poll numbers are staying pretty steady at 50-51%, whereas Baumgartner’s have ranged from 35-41% and aren’t showing signs of getting better. My guess is about half of the 9% or so “undecideds” are going to vote for Cantwell, and that she’ll win at 55-56% just like last time.

Also, in March, it seems that Cantwell had $4.5 million to Baumgartner’s $144 thousand. One assumes some PACs and such have boosted that a bit since then, but it seems like a pretty bad start, and rather like the GOP don’t expect to Baumgartner to challenge Cantwell too much.

I’d vote for Cantwell, if I were a Washingtonian, but her opponent actually seems like a pretty impressive guy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Baumgartner

There’s a larger component of reasonable people in the WA GOP than average nationally, although most years it’s wingnuts that get the more important nominations.

Given how much the GOP is dominated by mendacious wackos, I don’t want to see a single race conceded to the party until people like Baumgartner are the rule and not the exception. But if you peruse his website, there are still several wingnutty things that pop out at you, which sure maybe are there to appease his base. But they’re there.

However, at the state level I appreciate that unlike most of his GOP colleagues, he’s actually serious about supporting higher ed.

As a Washington native following the elections I can tell you a few things. 1: The GOP here is not well supported by the national organization and is consequently focusing on local races like the Governor’s race. 2: There is no pac money boosting Baumgartner and technically none for Cantwell either. However Cantwell does have to two left leaning groups funneling donation money into her from out of state that amounts to more or less the same thing as evidenced by the fact that 60% of her cash is out of state money. If Baumgartner does get cash this race will tighten up for several reasons. 1: During the primary only 20% of the voters knew who he was and according to a few “Informed polls” (polls where people know both of the candidates) he is within 2 or 3 points. This indicates that his main problem is name ID. Lastly he is also anti war and anti interventionist which give shim a strong boost compared to Cantwell who voted for the Iraqi war. All in all this race will be decided by Baumgartner’s name ID.

A setback for Baumgartner: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/22/michael-baumgartner-washington_n_1821410.html