Dems Worry Over 'Firewall' Elections

Thursday, October 21, 2010

In the Washington state Senate race, Democratic incumbent Patty Murray is scraping by, just barely ahead of her Republican challenger Dino Rossi. Meanwhile, on the other side of the country in Pennsylvania, Democrat Joe Sestak and Republican Pat Toomey are running neck-and-neck for that state's open Senate seat.

Voters in Washington, in contrast to their counterparts in much of the rest of the country, have seen a race focused heavily on policy, rather than partisan bickering. Murray has proudly trumpeted her embrace of the Obama agenda, touting her involvement with writing the health care reform bill. President Obama will be campaigning for her later today.

Democrats are calling the race in Washington a "firewall" election, meaning that if Murray goes down, everything goes down. States like Washington could determine the balance between the house and the Senate. Chris Grygiel, political reporter at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, has been watching this "firewall" election closely.

Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich has been keeping his eye on the race in Pennsylvania, where Toomey and Sestak faced off in a debate last night. He says that race has also been framed around national issues.


Chris Grygiel and Todd Zwillich

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