Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

SurveyUSA vs. Strategic Vision

Recently Stefan authored a post on unSoundPolitics which carried the results of the March Strategic Vision poll of Washington State voters. (It's worth remembering that Strategic Vision is a GOP polling firm).
The poll found that 39% of respondents approved of Gregoire’s job performance; 52% disapproved; and 9% were undecided.
Stefan and his cohorts, of course, claim that Gregoire is very unpopular.

But the March SurveyUSA poll paints a very different picture. According to the SurveyUSA poll (conducted March 16th, 2006) 47% of voters approve of Gregoire's job performance, while 46% disapprove and 6% were unsure. The SurveyUSA poll tracking graph shows that the Governor's approval ratings are slowly but surely rising over time, with some incremental decreases scattered throughout the last few months.

The 47% figure is in fact the highest in the history of Gregoire's term thus far. Considering that a year ago Gregoire was in the mid-thirties (in the SurveyUSA poll) her current numbers are pretty good. And they should continue to get better in the coming months (and years).

Surprisingly, the Strategic Vision and SurveyUSA polls aren't too far apart on Cantwell and Murray. Both polls put Murray at 55% approval for last month. SurveyUSA has Cantwell at 51% approval, while Strategic Vision (again, the GOP outfit) has her at 49%. And (according to SurveyUSA) Cantwell's approval rating from Democrats remains strong - it's at 75% for March, which is a healthy figure.

The sizable discrepancy between the polls asking voters how they feel about the Governor's job performance is certainly interesting. But given that Strategic Vision is an operation run by partisans, the SurveyUSA poll is certainly more credible. It also seems accurate considering the other information we have about public opinion of the Governor.

The right wing was hoping the passage of Initiative 912 would underscore the Governor's supposed unpopularity last autumn, but of course it failed (by a large margin) and Gregoire's position solidified.

If the current trend continues (and we believe it will) Gregoire's popularity and approval ratings will continue to slowly rise, much to Stefan's disappointment. We'll be watching in the months ahead to see how the numbers change in both polls - especially Strategic Vision's.

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