Public Policy Polling for Daily Kos (10/9-10/10, likely voters, no trendlines):
Suzan DelBene (D): 46
Dave Reichert (R-inc): 49
Despite this race flying almost completely under the radar until a few weeks ago — when a SurveyUSA poll found a 7-point gap and then a Suzan DelBene internal found a 4-point race — the race in the 8th is looking surprisingly competitive all of a sudden. That’s probably thanks to a decidedly lackluster performance from Dave Reichert this year (as seen by the unexpected loss of support from his usual best friends at the Seattle Times) as well as DelBene marshaling her resources for a major ad pounding at the end. PPP finds an even closer race now, with DelBene down by only 3, seemingly thanks to a reduction in the amount of ticket-splitting that has traditionally helped Reichert (as DelBene is winning Obama voters 80-15). (And if you’re wondering, there’s no SurveyUSA-style generational weirdness here; DelBene wins 62-19 among the 18-34 set.)
There’s one disconcerting number in the crosstabs, and that’s that within the district, Patty Murray and Dino Rossi are tied 49-49. Since this district is basically the bellwether for the state (Obama won the state 57-41, and won the 8th 57-42), that extrapolates out to a more or less tied race statewide. On the one hand, that’s bad news, as it would seem to confirm that general sense that Murray has lost some ground from her seeming spike last month. But on the other hand, that’s good news, as it confirms that this isn’t an overly Dem-friendly sample, and if Murray improves a few points and brings some more DelBene voters along with her, that can move DelBene even closer to 50%.
UPDATE: H/t to Minnesota Mike in comments, who points out (via the truly helpful Washington SoS website) that Rossi won 51-48 in the 8th in the 2008 gubernatorial race (which Chris Gregoire won 53-47), and by 54-44 in the 2004 gubernatorial race (which Gregoire won 48.87-48.87). That may actually be a better benchmark than Obama numbers, come to think of it — as, very importantly, Rossi is from the 8th, as he used to represent the Issaquah-based 5th LD in the state Senate. So if he’s tied in his own neighborhood, he’s probably lagging the 50% mark by a bit statewide.