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.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Poll Watch: Darcy Burner in a strong position

Several recent polls indicate that Darcy Burner is making Washington's 8th District race extremely competitive. There are several weeks to go before Election Day (though absentee voting will start sooner) and Darcy's campaign still has a lot of work to do. But she's already in a position of strength.

We don't talk about polls too much here on the Official Blog - in our view, they're not all that useful. The ultimate poll is on Election Day. What's more important than polls is fundraising, volunteer commitment, and word of mouth. How many non-activists have you mentioned Darcy Burner to recently?

Regardless, I'm going to take an opportunity to sift through a few polls - rather than discussing each poll seperately in a different post.

The earliest very encouraging poll on Darcy's race was done by Constituent Dynamics, and I analyzed it here. It showed Darcy ahead of Reichert, 49% to 46%. The second poll came out this week. It was conducted by Grove Insight for EMILY's List. Reichert is ahead in that one, 44% to 43%, which is to be expected, since he has excellent name recognition and Darcy does not.

(That she trails so closely, within the margin of error, says a lot about her powerful and aggressive grassroots campaign).

The newest poll was conducted by SurveyUSA, and is supposed to be announced in detail tonight on KING 5 News. It will show Reichert ahead of Darcy, 50% to 48%. That's a substantial improvement from SUSA's poll in the race a month ago which showed Reichert ahead 54% to 41%. If Darcy continues to improve at the rate she has (according to SUSA's tracking) she'll win handily.

UPDATE: KING 5 just had a report about this latest poll on the five o'clock broadcast. According to KING5, this SurveyUSA poll "identifies not just registered voters, but likely voters." (empahsis mine)

This is a useful tidbit because it indicates that the people who are actually going to show up at the polls or mail in their ballots are more supportive of Darcy than registered voters in general. It also makes it apparent, as I mentioned previously, that her name recognition is improving.

Chris Vance was on KING5 providing "analysis", and he suggested that Reichert and the GOP will soon act to define Darcy because she's closing in.

But Darcy has already defined herself and will continue to do so. The attacks against her thus far, especially those made by local right wing bloggers, have been astonishingly pathetic.

UPDATE II: More information is available from SurveyUSA now, including this memo attached to the poll:
Fierce Fight for GOP To Hold Seat in WA8: In an election for the U.S. House of Representatives today, 9/27/06, in Washington's 8th Congressional District, incumbent Republican Dave Reichert and Democratic challenger Darcy Burner are neck and neck, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted exclusively for KING-TV Seattle.

6 weeks to the 11/7/06 general election, Reichert gets 50% of the vote. Burner gets 48%. Reichert wins by 12 points among men. Burner wins by 9 points among women. Reichert gets 92% of Republican votes. Burner gets 86% of Democrat votes. Independents favor Reichert by 5 points. Reichert leads 94% to 5% among those who approve of President Bush's performance in office.

Burner leads 79% to 18% among those who disapprove of Bush. President George W. Bush's approval rating among likely voters in Washington's 8th Congressional District is 39%. Reichert was first elected to Congress in 2004. In a SurveyUSA poll of WA8 Registered Voters released 8/24/06, Reichert led Burner by 13 points. That data is not directly comparable with the results of today's poll, which screens for, and measures the intentions of, Likely Voters.
The bottom line in all of this? This is a tight race...all the polls suggest that. It's fun to look at data, but the data is just a snapshot of a point in time, and not necessarily a precise snapshot either. Anyone wanting to make a meaningful impact should take action by volunteering or contributing.

In other news, Seattleites definitely dislike Tim Eyman a lot. This is obviously evidenced by Seattle's rejection of Eyman initiatives and routine disgust expressed by residents of the Emerald City in various forums.

But incredulously, SurveyUSA did a poll last week in which registered voters were asked what they thought of dear old Tim.

Unsurprisingly, 65% said they didn't like him. Another 23% were netural. Only 11% said they viewed him as favorable. 1% were not sure. So the message is clear: if Eyman wants to continue meddling in Seattle's affairs he better be ready to get booed out of town.

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