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, October 03, 2006

Poll Watch: Senator Cantwell leads McGavick, work to be done on I-933

Two new polls are out showing that Maria Cantwell is holding her lead over Mike McGavick. The first was done by Mason-Dixon Research and it put Cantwell at 50%, McGavick at 40%. (9% were undecided, 1% favor a minor party candidate). Here are some additional details:
Of those who think Iraq is issue Number 1, Cantwell's ahead by 2-1. That's a lower edge than Democrats in other states, probably because Cantwell voted to authorize the war and faced an anti-war challenge in a primary.

Nearly three out of five - 57 percent - disapprove of Bush's job performance. Disapprovers support Cantwell by 6-1. Those who approve of Bush's job performance support McGavick by a similar margin.
Even going by this poll, 2 to 1 is regardless still a big margin. Senator Cantwell's efforts to clarify her position on Iraq have greatly benefited her campaign and (for the most part) calmed the misguided furor coming from a small minority within the local Democratic Party and the progressive movement.

The other poll was conducted by local pollster Stuart Elway. 53% of respondents said they would "definitely or probably" vote for Cantwell. 35% said likewise of McGavick. 405 registered voters were surveyed late last month. (The margin of error was 5%). Some additional details:
The latest survey showed Cantwell had stronger support in her own party than McGavick did in his. Seventy-five percent of Democrats said they were definitely voting for Cantwell, while McGavick had 61 percent of Republicans saying they would definitely cast their ballots for him.
It's worth noting that, for whatever reason, Elway polls have tended to be further away from the results that other pollsters have found. This isn't a poll of "likely voters", in contrast to the Mason-Dixon poll, which had 625 respondents total, all of whom confirmed they were likely to vote in the November general election.

We can conclude from these two polls that the Senator is probably in a good position. But no race may be taken for granted. There are still several weeks left. Team Cantwell must work as hard as it can to convince as many voters as possible to return Maria to Washington, D.C.

Beautiful, radiant television ads are nice, but more emphasis should be put on field operations and word of mouth. The best weapon of persuasion in a candidate's arsenal are supporters asking their friends and family to vote Democrat.

Another poll worth mentioning concerns the battle to defeat Initiative 933, the horrific ballot measure that would create land use mayhem and loopholes for developers to exploit. Elway Research found that 47% of voters are inclined to definitely or probably vote for I-933 while 31% are similiarly opposed. A whopping 22% are undecided.

In our view this poll is off, and not necessarily by a little bit, either. This is based on what we've observed recently and past experience. (For instance, I can easily recall believing a much touted Elway poll that showed Initiative 776 losing not long before Election Day in 2002. I-776 ultimately passed, albeit narrowly.)

The breakdown is actually more interesting. If Elway is to be believed, support for I-933 is strongest in Eastern Washington and in Pierce and Kitsap counties.

The specific numbers are not what we're interested in, though. It's the overall trend - the bigger picture. A historical analysis of previous right wing ballot measures (including tax repeals) demonstrates that Pierce County is an important battleground.

Residents of Pierce have often voted for right wing initiatives in recent years, which means the No on I-933 campaign needs to strengthen its field efforts there as much as possible. Voter education works, as demonstrated last year when Pierce voters joined over a dozen other counties on both sides of the Cascades in voting NO on Initiative 912. Kitsap County is in the same boat.

If you're reading the Official Blog from outside of Seattle or urban King County, (where opposition to I-933 is strongest) understand that it is imperative you talk to your family and friends about the dangers of I-933, the "pay or waive" scheme that will create havoc in communities across the Evergreen State.

<< Home