47% of Washington voters approve of the job Cantwell’s doing to 38% who disapprove. To put those numbers into some context, our first Washington Senate poll of 2010 found Patty Murray with a 46/45 approval spread. So Cantwell’s net approval is 8 points better and Murray of course went on to be reelected by 5 points in what was an otherwise dreadful election year for Democrats. [...]
Cantwell leads Michael Baumgartner 51-36 and Bill Bryant 50-36 in hypothetical head to heads. She wins over 90% of the Democratic vote against both of them and takes independents by 9-11 points. She also gets double digit support from Republicans- 10-11%.
Given that Washington is one of the most liberal states in the country, it isn’t too surprising that an incumbent Democrat is doing well. Still, given the sheer number of seats the Democrats need to defend this is good news for the party. The more the Democrats’ field of potential competitive seats shrinks early in the cycle, the easier it becomes for Democrats to focus their resources where needed to retain their majority.