While it' s uncertain whether President Obama will win the furnace-hot fight on health care, what is certain is that his honeymoon in public opinion polls is effectively over. But just as Obama had coattails for D's last November, a similar effect--albeit in the opposite direction--has taken hold of even long-tenured untouchables like Patty Murray.
Of this phenomenon, former Republican King County Councilman Chris Vance, writing for Crosscut, makes the following observation: "Let's start with the data. SurveyUSA regularly tracks the job approval ratings for the President, governors, and U.S. Senators. Their June poll showed Democrats continuing to do well in Washington state. President Obama's approval rating stood at 63 percent, with 33 percent saying they disapproved. By the end of August those numbers had changed dramatically, to 51-46. Senator Patty Murray's numbers dropped right along with the President's, confirming that this shift is affecting all Democrats. (What has Patty Murray done in the past three months to affect the public's perception of her?) The same two polls found her ratings dropping from 56 percent approve, 35 percent disapprove in June, to 47-43 in August. A look inside the data shows there has been little movement among partisan Republicans and Democrats, but a massive shift among independents."