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Jerry Cornfield | jcornfield@heraldnet.com
Published: Wednesday, September 14, 2011, 11:12 a.m.

GOP poll finds weak support for Cantwell

Republicans have yet to find a challenger to U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash. When they do, it could become an interesting race, fast.

That's because a new statewide poll found only 38 percent think the two-term incumbent deserves re-election while 46 percent say it's time for a new person in the job.

Washington State Republican Party Chairman Kirby Wilbur provided the figures this morning. He said they come from a phone poll of 500 people Sept. 10 and 11.

Moore Information of Portland, a noted GOP polling outfit, conducted the survey. The firm included a single question on Cantwell as part of a larger poll it did for another client, Wilbur said.

Wilbur said the question offered four options for answers: deserves re-election no matter what, deserves re-election depending on the opponent, time for a new person and depends/don't know.

He said 23 percent indicated Cantwell deserved re-election no matter what and 15 percent said she should get another term depending on her foe. Sixteen percent said they didn't know.

Of those polled, 32 percent identified themselves as Democrats, 22 percent as Republican and 46 percent as independent. Women made up 54 percent of those contacted, Wilbur said.

He surmised the obvious – those numbers show support for the incumbent isn't too solid.

Meanwhile, the search for an opponent continues and Republican state Sen. Michael Baumgartner of Spokane remains a possibility.

Baumgartner confirmed last week he is seriously considering the race though isn't rushing to make a decision. He said he hoped to decide by the end of the year.


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