The 2022 Republican red wave is rocking the boat in Washington state, where Democrats are rallying to protect veteran Sen. Patty Murray from surging Republican challenger Tiffany Smiley.
“Tiffany Smiley is running an incredible campaign, and she’s got 30-year incumbent Patty Murray and national Democrats running scared,” said Chris Hartline, a spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, according to Politico.
Poll numbers show Smiley is not there yet, but the momentum is on her side.
The Real Clear Politics average of polls shows Murray leading by 8.5 percentage points. In July, her margin was between 18 and 20 points, depending on the poll.
The big change comes in Smiley’s growing support. In July, she was polling at 33 percent support. That’s now up over 41 percent, according to the latest poll, while Murray’s numbers have plateaued at around 50 percent.
A recently released poll of 500 likely voters commissioned by Citizens United showed the race even tighter, with Murray leading Smiley 48 percent to 42 percent.
New GOP poll in the Washington Senate race (commissioned by @David_Bossie, conducted by @KellyannePolls) finds a 6-point race between Sen. Patty Murray and Republican challenger Tiffany Smiley. pic.twitter.com/8y0Zo9aYB8
— Natalie Allison (@natalie_allison) October 24, 2022
The poll found that 45 percent of independent voters backed Smiley, giving her a 7-point edge over Murray.
David Bossie, who leads Citizens United, said on paper, the race should not even be a contest.
“Washington state is not a purple state. It is not a marginal state. It is a deep-blue state. To be having this conversation is a bad omen for Democrats,” he said, according to Politico.
Democrats are pouring money into the race. Murray’s campaign has spent more than $17 million, according to The Seattle Times.
The America I grew up in is a nation worth fighting for & a nation my husband was honored to lose his eyesight for. But I fear we are losing that country.
That’s why I’m in this fight — because too many families are having to sacrifice & Washington deserves better. pic.twitter.com/EYIxgvSqW9
— Tiffany Smiley (@SmileyForWA) October 26, 2022
Smiley went on the attack in a recent debate.
“Crime’s out of control; Patty Murray is to blame,” she said, according to the Times.
Smiley said the Ukraine war erupted because “Sen. Murray and [President] Joe Biden have shown extreme weakness on the world stage.”
As noted by Politico, Slade Gorton was the last Republican senator elected from Washington state. He was elected in 1988 and served until he lost the 2000 election to Democrat Maria Cantwell.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.