In Washington state, Senator Patty Murray is running on her record of securing federal funds for local projects. These “earmarks” have received a lot of scrutiny over the last few years, causing many members of Congress to downplay their role in securing earmarks.
But contrary to popular belief, securing earmarks is still a net positive, according to a recent Pew Center/National Journal Congressional Connection poll. The poll found a majority of Americans, 53 percent, are more likely to vote for a candidate in the 2010 congressional midterms with "a record of bringing government projects and money" to their districts. Just 12 percent said they would be less likely to vote for such a candidate, while 33 percent said it would make no difference.
This may be one reason Senator Murray isn’t shying away from her ability to deliver local projects. This year, she ranks ninth in the Senate in terms of securing local investment dollars. Her Republican opponent, Dino Rossi, opposes earmarking funds until the federal budget is balanced.