Filed Under: Politics

Washington Senate race: Incumbent Murray bests Smiley

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Washington Democratic Sen. Patty Murray won her tighter-than-expected reelection bid, securing a sixth term in office. Murray defeated Republican challenger Tiffany Smiley.

Toward the end of the race, the Real Clear Politics average of polls showed Murray and Smiley were separated by just three points. That was a big change from August when Murray won a nonpartisan primary, in which the top two candidates advance regardless of party, by 22 percentage points over Smiley. President Joe Biden won the state in 2020 by 19 points.

Democrats poured millions of dollars into the contest over the final weeks, not liking how close it had become in such a deep-blue state. Murray and a pro-choice super-PAC made seven-figure ad buys in addition to $915,000 in television spending by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

The last time Republicans won a Senate seat in Washington was 1994, and that lasted only one term. Smiley knew she was climbing an uphill battle but campaigned hard and encouraged voters to not go to the polls alone.

“Every single vote counts, every single one. This is our chance,” Smiley said during a campaign event, according to the Washington Examiner. “You cannot just go vote by yourself this time. You’ve got to talk to 10, 20, 30 people — 50, 100, if you’re really ambitious. I need you to share the message.” 

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Bias Distribution

L 27%
C 45%
R 27%

45% of the sources are Center

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Washington Democratic Sen. Patty Murray won her tighter-than-expected reelection bid, securing a sixth term in office. Murray defeated Republican challenger Tiffany Smiley.

Toward the end of the race, the Real Clear Politics average of polls showed Murray and Smiley were separated by just three points. That was a big change from August when Murray won a nonpartisan primary, in which the top two candidates advance regardless of party, by 22 percentage points over Smiley. President Joe Biden won the state in 2020 by 19 points.

Democrats poured millions of dollars into the contest over the final weeks, not liking how close it had become in such a deep-blue state. Murray and a pro-choice super-PAC made seven-figure ad buys in addition to $915,000 in television spending by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

The last time Republicans won a Senate seat in Washington was 1994, and that lasted only one term. Smiley knew she was climbing an uphill battle but campaigned hard and encouraged voters to not go to the polls alone.

“Every single vote counts, every single one. This is our chance,” Smiley said during a campaign event, according to the Washington Examiner. “You cannot just go vote by yourself this time. You’ve got to talk to 10, 20, 30 people — 50, 100, if you’re really ambitious. I need you to share the message.” 

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