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One question of the week has been, Where are Obama's coat tails? (And he looks like he had them on last night.) Although the top Democrat is increasingly seen to have put McCain into an almost purely defensive position with less than three weeks to go, fellow Democrat Chris Gregoire is tied with Republican Dino Rossi in the polls.
The last poll had Gregoire up by a single percentage point, 48-47. Still, Rep. Sam Hunt, one of the House Democrat’s statewide strategists, says the Obama updraft is happening.
"I've seen it in some of our tracking polls, she's picking up," said Hunt, referring specifically to swing districts the Democrats are tracking. "In a number of those districts she's gone from tied or behind to slightly ahead. It certainly looks like things are getting better."
The latest Survey USA poll, from Tuesday, shows that one-point lead, but says Obama is out of the picture:
One theory I've heard is that Gregoire only recently started gaining ground, in part from her performance in five debates with Rossi. In talking to folks back on the Palouse yesterday, however, I was told the only issue that seems to have broken through on the race is the much-debated tribal gaming conpacts, and not in Gregoire's favor.
In any case, there's a hard-bitten 10 percent of voters undecided, and they will call it, Hunt said. "I just hope this Democratic wave doesn’t peak too soon."
Here's the latest graph, including the Survey USA poll from Tuesday: