It looks like our efforts to educate voters about the cost and consequences of Tim Eyman’s initiative on initiative (I‑517) are starting to pay off. Hurrah!
The last two surveys to gauge support for Initiative 517 both show support for the measure dropping, and the most recent of the two — just released today — finds that opposition to I‑517 is greater than the support for I‑517, with just a week to go before Election Day. This is big news, and very good news.
The polls were conducted by the firms founded by Stuart Elway (out of Seattle) and Bob Moore (run out of Portland). Elway and Moore have both been conducting public opinion research in the Pacific Northwest for a very long time.
Here are the results from Elway’s poll:
Elway Poll on I‑517 of 413 registered voters
Conducted October 15th — 17th (landlines and cellphones)
Margin of error is plus or minus five percentage points
Yes: 52% (25% definitely yes)
No: 25% (18% definitely no)
Elway previously polled on I‑517 in September and found support for the measure at 58% and opposition at 22%. Elway’s October poll was mostly conducted prior to the launch of the NO on I‑517 Coalition’s television spot, “Get Ready”. Moore Information’s poll, on the other hand, was conducted after “Get Ready” had begun airing, and shows support for I‑517 collapsing:
Moore Information Poll on I‑517 of 500 likely voters
Conducted October 23rd — 24th (landlines and cellphones)
Margin of error is plus or minus four percentage points
Have already voted or plan to vote
Don’t know/refused: 27%
Among those who have already voted, Moore found opposition was even higher. 48% said they had voted no on I‑517, while 28% said they had voted yes and 24% did not know or refused to answer. That’s a very big gap between yes and no. If the trend holds, we could see I‑517 go down to defeat by a comfortable margin.
More insights from Moore:
Importantly, intensity is stronger on the “no” side – among those who have yet to cast their ballots, 21% say they are a “definite” no vote, while only 11% are a definite “yes” vote.
There is plurality opposition to I‑517 in Eastern Washington and the Central Puget Sound region, but a plurality of voters residing in the rest of Western Washington outside Central Puget Sound favor the measure. Both Democrats and Republicans oppose I‑517, but Independents are supportive. There are also significant differences in sentiment by age – younger voters (age 18–34) support I‑517, while voters age 35–64 are divided and a plurality of seniors are opposed.
It looks like we need to bolster our outreach to young voters. But it’s good to know that our campaign is making a difference.
The NO on I‑517 Coalition is one of the most diverse, bipartisan campaigns ever assembled to oppose a ballot measure in Washington State. It includes NPI and the Washington State Democratic Party, as well as the Mainstream Republicans and the Association of Washington Business. Governor Jay Inslee opposes I‑517, as does former Attorney General Rob McKenna, who he ran against last year.
Seattle’s major sports teams are on board too, as are most of the state’s retailers, from the independent and family owned grocers that belong to the Washington Food Industry Association to the well-known supermarkets and home improvement stores that have provided financial support to the coalition.
As of this week, the coalition has raised around $600,000 in cash and in-kind contributions. Most of the coalition’s donors are individuals or independently-owned, family-run stores. The largest donations to the campaign have come from Safeway, Kroger, and the Washington Retail Association.
The Yes side has barely reported raising any money since the signature drive ended. Tim Eyman has minimized his involvement in the campaign, and claims to be working on an initiative for 2014. Eyman and his associates’ I‑517 operation remains under investigation by the Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) for violating the state’s public disclosure laws during the initiative’s signature drive last year.