The race to represent Washington state in the U.S. Senate is now a toss-up, according to RealClearPolitics’ projections.
RealClearPolitics changed its Senate projection for the Washington Senate seat Sunday from “leans Dem” to “toss-up.” The move comes as two polls showed Republican challenger Tiffany Smiley tied with incumbent Democrat Patty Murray. A survey from the Trafalgar Group showed the race in a statistical tie, while another poll from the Moore Information Group (MIG) also showed a dead heat.
“The race for U.S. Senate in Washington is now tied,” Moore Information Group said in a press release announcing the results. “Tiffany Smiley has caught up to 30-year incumbent Senator Patty Murray and the race is now dead even at 46 percent Smiley and 46 percent Murray, eliminating the four percent advantage enjoyed by Murray in September (48 to 44 percent).”
The poll also found that Murray’s net favorability rating had sunk -3 points, down from -1 in the previous poll. In September, the survey found Murray’s favorability rating was 44% favorable and 45% unfavorable; in October, that rating had shifted from 45% favorable to 48% unfavorable. Smiley, meanwhile, still has a net favorability rating of 3 points, 44%-41%. That number was up from last month when her favorable rating was 37%-34%.
The poll also found that Smiley would likely benefit from the 8% of undecided voters, but 80% of them said the country was off on the “wrong track,” MIG reported. Undecided voters were firmly against Murray and President Joe Biden: among undecideds, just 18% favored Murray, while 47% had an unfavorable opinion; just 30% of undecideds approved of Biden’s job performance, while 60% disapproved. The top issues for those voters were crime, which 18 percent of voters said was most important, and “controlling government spending and taxes,” which topped the list for 16% of undecideds.
“In wave election years, the national political environment is often the key to flipping Senate seats and right now, the Washington Senate race has become ground zero for a wave election upset,” the press release stated.
The poll surveyed 500 likely voters between October 20-22.
The Moore Information Group poll followed another survey by the Trafalgar Group, which found Smiley and Murray in a statistical tie. According to the poll of 1,207 likely voters conducted between October 25-28, Murray leads Smiley 49.4%-48.2%. That lead was well within the poll’s 2.9% margin of error, and 2.4% of voters were undecided. Notably, the poll heavily favored Democrats: they made up 44.2% of voters sampled, while 33.4% were Republicans, and 22.4% were independents.
Democrats have poured millions of dollars into the Washington Senate race to hand Murray a sixth term in office. The Seattle Times reported earlier this week that Murray’s campaign had spent more than $17 million on the race, while Smiley’s has spent over $10 million.
According to a Politico report, Murray and her campaign dropped $1.5 million in ads with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. And in recent days, she reportedly received approximately $6.5 million from EMILY’s List, a pro-abortion super PAC group, which also spent most of the funds on television advertisements.
According to Politico, the National Republican Senatorial Committee has spent $750,000 in Washington.
“Tiffany Smiley is running an incredible campaign, and she’s got 30-year incumbent Patty Murray and national Democrats running scared,” NRSC spokesman Chris Hartline said.
Brandon Drey contributed to this report.