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 27, 2009

New poll indicates that with work, major progressive victory is possible next week

Longtime readers know that we at NPI are not very fond of polls. We like to say the only real poll that matters is on Election Day. But there is one poll out there that we do put more stock in than others, and that's the Washington Poll. Conducted by the Washington Institute for the Study of Ethnicity, Race & Sexuality at the University of Washington, it is out in the field a week and a half before Election Day, with results being released a week in advance.

A few quick notes about the poll:
  • The survey was in the field from October 14 – 26, 2009.
  • A total of 724 registered voters throughout the state of Washington were interviewed, yielding in a 3.6% margin of error.
  • Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.
This year's poll shows us winning all the major contests: Initiative 1033, Referendum 71, and the county executive race.

Now, before getting too excited, remember, there is a week to go, and in the case of I-1033 and the county executive race especially, undecided voters will determine who wins. So consider this motivation to join a phonebank or doorknocking effort.

First, Referendum 71. Among registered voters, the measure is ahead, fifty six percent to thirty nine percent.

(Breakdowns include Certain, Could change, and lean Yes/No). Among likely voters, the measure is also ahead, fifty seven to thirty eight, and among those who have already voting, it is passing, fifty five to forty five percent. (Obviously in that last category, Already Voted, there is only one breakdown... Certain).

Surprisingly, support for Referendum 71 is strong in conservative Eastern Washington at 46% with the no column managing to pull in only 49%. That allows Puget Sound, which favors the measure sixty forty, to dominate the outcome.

Initiative 1033, meanwhile, is narrower. Forty one percent support the initiative (Certain, Could change, lean yes). Forty six percent are opposed. Thirteen percent undecided. The figures start to improve when we move to Likely Voters, who are forty percent yes, forty nine percent no, ten percent undecided.

The very best news is that among those who have already voted, fifty six percent have voted NO on I-1033 and forty four percent have voted yes.

We need to make sure that voters continue to break against I-1033 statewide, and that means joining a phonebank, talking to neighbors, distributing literature, and knocking on doors today.

In the county executive's race, Dow is ahead among registered voters with forty five percent, Susan Hutchison is at thirty two percent, and undecided voters are making up the rest. Dow's lead increases among likely voters. Forty seven percent of them support him while thirty four percent back Hutchison. But the bloc of undecided voters is still large at nineteen percent.

The poll suggests that Seattle is going to be a mighty force for Dow. A whopping seventy percent of poll respondents in Seattle are for Dow. The rest of the county favors Hutchison. The Eastside wasn't broken out, so we don't know who is favored in our neck of the woods, but we'd bet it's the region where the candidates are closest together. Hutchison undoubtedly has the rural and southeast.

Dow is doing well with Democrats and young voters but he is losing independents to Hutchison. That's a group with which he should try to make up ground.

Interestingly, he has a stronger lock on Democrats throughout King County than Hutchison has on Republicans, perhaps as a result of his wise choice to openly declare his party affiliation. (His ads say "Democrat").

Last year, the Washington Poll correctly forecasted victory for Barack Obama, a victory for Chris Gregoire, and victory on all three statewide ballot measures (I-985, I-1029, and I-1000). However, it did not accurately capture the level of support for Sound Transit Proposition 1, which the poll had losing, but which fortunately ended up passing by comfortable margins.

This year's poll also shows Joe Mallahan well ahead of Mike McGinn, but that's of less interest to us, since the critical races are King County Executive and the two ballot measures. What remains clear is this: A week out, we are positioned for a major victory, but we have to bring our voters home to make it happen. Now is no time to celebrate. Let's work hard for a big victory.


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