The general election field is now set in the Washington Senate race, with Democratic Sen. Patty Murray and Republican rival Dino Rossi advancing to the general election November.
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With 52% of precincts reporting, Murray has 47% and Rossi 34%, ahead of former pro football player Clint Didier (who was endorsed by Sarah Palin) at only 11%. The Associated Press has projected Murray and Rossi as the winners of the primary, proceeding to a final match-up in November.
Washington state does not use conventional primaries like the rest of the country, but uses a different system known as "Top Two." All candidates appear on the same primary ballot, regardless of party, with the top two vote-getters going on to the general election (regardless of whether somebody were to get over 50% of the vote). This system allows for the possibility of two Democrats or two Republicans facing off in the final round, though in most instances such as this one it ends up as one Dem and one GOPer. And this system is spreading, too -- it was recently passed by referendum in California, to take effect next cycle.