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January 29, 2010 at 8:23 AM

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Dino Rossi and the Scott Brown effect in Washington

Posted by Joni Balter

Like the crocuses already sticking their tops above ground, Republicans in Washington state are perking their heads up this balmy winter, hoping the election of Scott Brown as senator from Massachusetts is more phenomenon. than fluke. They're even trying to persuade two-time gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi to run for senator against Democrat Patty Murray this fall.
Although Rossi told the (Everett) Herald "no way" last week, Republicans believe he might be more open to the idea.
With just nine months to go until the fall Senate election, Republicans have a few lesser-known candidates, Clint Didier and Chris Widener, but no one who could really beat Murray.
So Republicans are apparently talking to key players with a new, post-Brown attitude. Maybe Congressman Dave Reichert, who apparently has not completely ruled out a run but seems eager to hold onto his 8th District congressional seat.
A bigger push is on to convince Rossi to dive in. Rossi has to be wary of another race, but he does have statewide name familiarity and could benefit from a Republican tide, if there is such a thing.
A poll conducted by Republican pollster, Bob Moore, shows a statistical dead heat in a matchup between Rossi and Murray.

Other people looking at the GOP 2010 Senate race in Washington are former TV news anchor Susan Hutchison, still licking her wounds from her failed run for King County, and a couple of Republican legislators.
It would be tough for most of these people to beat the incumbent, but every senator deserves a challenge. It's difficult to say at this moment how swing voters in the suburbs are feeling.
Republicans are either giddy or convinced the landscape, post-Brown, has changed.

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