UPDATE: A new Rasmussen poll has Sen. Patty Murray and potential GOP challenger Dino Rossi in a tied race, Murray 48 to Rossi 46. Their favorable/unfavorable ratings are also in a lock. Murray's at 53/43 and Rossi's at 52/44.

The April 6 poll of 500 likely voters had  4.5 percent margin of error.

Original Post:

For the past several weeks, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) has been shopping a story. Although, "story" is stretching it.

Basically, their pitch to reporters was this: Write a story saying if Dino Rossi decides to run against U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, he's in for a tough race because there are a lot of stories out there that make him look really really bad (stories, by the way, that were written during Rossi's two previous runs for governor, including one by my colleague Sandeep Kaushik.)

Frustrated with the weird meta story they were pitching, I asked the DSCC to go on record and say what they wanted me to say—if Dino Rossi decides to run he's in trouble because there are a lot of stories out there that make him look bad. They wouldn't say it. And of course not. Because it's a damn dumb story.

The real story of course, and the PI's Joel Connelly beat me to writing it this morning (although we did make the same point in Chris Kissel's story about the current crop of Republicans who've declared against Sen. Murray), is that the DSCC is scared Rossi is going to jump in the race.

Typical Connelly, he gets sidetracked in the middle of his column with some winding anecdotes from elections past, but ultimately he's on point:
The DSCC was on the phone to political reporters in "this" Washington, peddling "oppo research" on Murray's prospective Republican Senate challenger Dino Rossi.

Its initial offering was "off the record." In short, we leak, and you do the damage. We supply a black widow spider in a bottle: All you have to do is deposit it in our opponent's bed.

...

The DSCC is clearly trying to dissuade Dino Rossi from running, and signaling a smear-filled summer and fall if he does. Orchestrating by Murray's campaign, if any, is under the radar.

And here's the PI's account (we ignored it) of the He-said-She-said the the DSCC pitch ultimately amounted to, which is all it really deserved.