While the political earth shifts around her, Sen. Patty Murray appears to have grounded herself in Washington state. While the national press largely passes her race by, Murray -- who at the start of the summer was, according to conventional wisdom, a Vulnerable Democrat -- appears to have built the momentum she needs to comfortably compete for a third term.
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Of course, as must always be said at this point, nothing is set in stone. Murray is up against Dino Rossi, one of the few establishment Republican nominee picks to make it past a tea party primary opponent this year. Rossi was, at one time, one of the brightest stars in NRSC chair John Cornyn's 2010 universe, and the party is expected to keep pumping support Rossi's way as long as things stay close.
And they are close.
If Murray was the Vulnerable Democrat in the original Washington state narrative, Rossi was (in the view of most Republican establishment figures) the ideal Formidable Opponent to defeat her. But as election season has proceeded, that storyline has proven to be more and more far-fetched. Murray, quite simply, is winning while Rossi is losing. And it's been that way for awhile.