Now, Washington state's a little strange - our top-two primary allows candidates to call themselves whatever they like - so the Dems probably won't win this one. But it's a smart move nevertheless. A stunt like this means that voters will get the "GOP" is "Republican" message loud and clear. Basically, it's advertising. And it lets people know that Dino Rossi's trying to play them for fools.
The state Democratic Party filed suit Tuesday in an attempt to force Dino Rossi to list his party preference as "Republican" on the November ballot instead of "GOP Party."
Democrats say the Iraq War and low approval ratings for President Bush have left the Republican Party a damaged brand and that Rossi is trying to distance himself by using GOP as his affiliation.
Rossi is running against Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire. He lost to Gregoire by 133 votes in the 2004 election, and polls show this race to be close as well.
Polls by Stuart Elway have suggested many people don't know that GOP and Republican mean the same thing. One recent Elway poll indicated Rossi did better among voters if he used the "GOP" label instead of "Republican."
I think that's why the Dems didn't bring this suit during the primaries. They want the word out close to the election. It doesn't really even matter if the ballots get printed with "prefers GOP party" - that would have been nice, but they weren't likely to get their way, and timing it like this means the association will be fresh in the voters' minds.
Clever. I likes it.