With November 8th only a month away, we’re starting to see new polling released on a near-daily basis. Today, KOMO TV and Strategies 360 released a new set of results from a recent poll they collaborated on, while Tina Podlodowski’s campaign distributed findings from a poll showing Podlodowski narrowly ahead of incumbent Republican Kim Wyman in the contest for Washington Secretary of State.
With Governor Jay Inslee and U.S. Senator Patty Murray widely expected to cruise to new terms, and Attorney General Bob Ferguson without a Republican opponent this year, the marquee matchups are further downballot.
Perhaps no contest is considered to be as close as that for Secretary of State. Incumbent Kim Wyman is the only Republican currently serving in the executive department, and faces an incredibly strong Democratic challenger in former Seattle City Councilmember and experienced business leader Tina Podlodowski.
In the August Top Two election, Wyman garnered 47.9%. Podlodowski finished only 23,882 votes behind, capturing 46.13% of the vote.
Democrats are fired up about Podlodowski’s chances, while Republicans are increasingly nervous about Wyman’s.
Podlodowski’s campaign has just given them another reason to be concerned by releasing fresh polling that shows Podlodowski ahead.
Normington Petts — which also counts Hillary Clinton, Jason Kander, and Tammy Duckworth as clients — reports that in a survey conducted from September 27th-29th of six hundred likely November voters, 35% of respondents said they planned to vote for Podlodowski, while only 31% planned to vote for Wyman.
“Podlodowski leads despite the fact that nearly twice as many voters know Wyman,” noted NP’s Jill Normington in a memo prepared for public distribution.
“Not only is Podlodowski already ahead of Wyman, the majority of undecided voters are Democrats. Of the 34% who are currently undecided, 53% are Democrats, while 25% are Independents and 22% are Republicans. Moreover, the undecided voters at the Secretary of State level are voting for Governor Jay Inslee for reelection 51%-21%. If Podlodowski has the necessary resources to persuade these undecided voters, she will be in a strong position to win in November.”
The Normington Petts survey has a margin of error of ±4.0%
Meanwhile, Strategies 360 and KOMO TV have released results that show U.S. Senator Patty Murray with a comfy lead over Republican challenger Chris Vance.
“In this poll of 500 likely voters interviewed statewide, 57% said they would vote for Murray, as opposed to 36% for Vance,” reported KOMO’s Robert Mak. “Murray, first elected to the Senate in 1992, maintains a high approval rating with 57% viewing her favorably, and 30% having an unfavorable impression.”
KOMO/Strategies 360 also released results for three of the six initiatives that are appearing on Washington’s ballot. They found:
- 62% support for Initiative 1433 (minimum wage and paid leave);
- 79% support for Initiative 1491 (extreme risk protection orders);
- 42% support for Initiative 732 (CarbonWA’s tax swap scheme).
Back in June, NPI and Public Policy Polling asked a sample of likely voters about these same initiatives, and found the following:
- 58% support for Initiative 1433 (minimum wage and paid leave);
- 73% support for Initiative 1491 (extreme risk protection orders);
- 52% support for Initiative 732 (CarbonWA’s tax swap scheme).
I‑1433 and I‑1491 polled 4% and 6% higher, respectively, in the KOMO/Strategies 360 poll than in our poll, which suggests that voters are actually becoming more enthused about these progressive ideas, not less. That’s encouraging.
The same cannot be said about CarbonWA’s I‑732, a proposal to levy a tax on pollutants and use the revenue to cancel out sales and B&O taxes — including much of what’s left of Boeing’s already-reduced tax obligations.
With a month left to go, I‑732 is under water. Only 42% of respondents surveyed by KOMO/Strategies 360 indicated support for I‑732. 37% indicated opposition, and 21% reported that they are undecided.
Undecided voters can swing yes or no, as CarbonWA pointed out several weeks ago after Stuart Elway published research showing lackluster support for I‑732 and a high number of undecided voters. However, it is more common for undecided voters to break no than yes when a strong opposition campaign is in place to effectively make the arguments against. When in doubt, people tend to vote no.
I‑732 arguably faces stronger opposition than any of the other initiatives on the ballot this year. Though NPI would very much like to put a price on pollution, we oppose I‑732 because we believe it is fatally flawed. So does the labor community and progressive organizations like OneAmerica.
KOMO/Strategies 360 appear not to have polled on I‑1501, I‑1464, or I‑735, which are also on Washington’s November 2016 statewide ballot.