The next primary elections scheduled this summer are Washington and Wyoming, coming up on August 17th. The latest polling from SurveyUSA of the Washington senate primary strongly point to the fact that Democratic incumbent Senator Patty Murray and Republican Dino Rossi will be the two candidates that advance to the general.
Patty Murray (D) 41
Dino Rossi (R) 33
Clint Didier (R) 11
Paul Akers (R) 5
Murray and Rossi have a double digit leads over all other candidates in this single, open primary contest, and should easily be the top two vote-getters. It looks like the Democratic and Republican parties will get their top choices for November.
It is important to remember the Washington State “primary” is not like most states where it is up to the parties to select their nominees for the general election, either through convention or plebiscite. Washington, and California starting in 2012, adopted the top-two primary system. All candidates, regardless of party, compete in the same “primary,” and whichever two candidates, regardless of party, get the most votes are the only two candidates to make it on the November ballot.
This system means, in theory, the general election could be a race between only two Democrats or two Republicans, or–as is the case here–November contests will be restricted mostly to the best-known or best-financed competitors.