What’s in a (Republican) name

In the Washington primary filings, candidates got to select a stated party preference, but they had liberty to name their preference themselves. Several Republicans chose something other than “Republican Party”; among those was Dino Rossi, the Republican nominee for governor, who stated his preference as “G.O.P.”

Which seemed here to be a minor curiosity: Yeah, the Republican label isn’t hot this year, but would a label of “G.O.P.” (which traditionally stands for “Grand Old Party”) really matter?

Maybe it does. The Tacoma News Tribune reports from a media panel a test by pollster Stuart Elway about just that point: “Republican gubernatorial nominee Dino Rossi does better (though still trails) when his party preference is listed as ‘GOP’ than he does when his party preference is listed as ‘Republican.’ This is significant because Rossi will appear under the label ‘GOP’, something that state Democrats object to and have filed litigation to block.”

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