Wash. U.S. Senate Race Overshadowed By Gubernatorial Match-Up

May 14, 2012

This is the week candidates formally file for office in Washington. Republican State Senator Michael Baumgartner made it official Monday: he will challenge incumbent U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, a Democrat. But the race is starting out as a bit of a mismatch.

It’s rarely easy to challenge a sitting U.S. Senator. Tougher even when you’re a freshman state senator from eastern Washington. But Republican Michael Baumgartner hopes his international resume piques voter interest: a tour in Iraq with the State Department and time in Afghanistan helping farmers grow wheat rather than opium. Still he’s way behind in the money race with $144,000 on hand compared to Cantwell’s $4 million. That’s according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Jennifer Duffy handicaps races for The Cook Political Report. She’s put this one in the “likely” Democrat column. But not solid D.

Jennifer Duffy: “We’ve watched races in Washington sort of close at the end so we tend to just keep a watch on it which is what that column is about. It’s watching races progress.”

Also working against Baumgartner: the fact Republican resources are focused on the open governor’s race in Washington.

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network

On the web:

The Cook Political Report: http://cookpolitical.com/charts/senate/raceratings_2012-05-10_07-08-53.php

Open Secrets: http://www.opensecrets.org/races/summary.php?cycle=2012&id=WAS1