NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Thursday, May 24th, 2018

Senator Maria Cantwell enjoys a robust lead over Susan Hutchison, new NPI poll finds

Maria Cantwell is well posi­tioned to con­tin­ue on in the Unit­ed States Sen­ate with seat­mate Pat­ty Mur­ray for anoth­er six years, a new NPI poll has found.

Six hun­dred and sev­en­ty-five like­ly Wash­ing­ton State vot­ers were asked ear­li­er this week whether they would vote for Cantwell or prob­a­ble Repub­li­can oppo­nent Susan Hutchi­son were the elec­tion being held today. 52% said they would vote for Cantwell, while only 36% said Hutchi­son. 12% were not sure.

Hutchi­son is a for­mer Repub­li­can State Par­ty Chair who jumped into the race last week a mere hour and a half before the dead­line. In a field packed with twen­ty-nine chal­lengers to Cantwell, a dozen of whom iden­ti­fy as Repub­li­cans, Hutchi­son is eas­i­ly the oppo­nent with the most name recog­ni­tion and the high­est profile.

Last year, in June, an NPI poll of eight hun­dred and eighty-sev­en like­ly 2018 Wash­ing­ton State vot­ers found Sen­a­tor Cantwell with a thir­teen point lead over for­mer Repub­li­can Attor­ney Gen­er­al Rob McKen­na in a hypo­thet­i­cal matchup. At the time Repub­li­cans had not found a can­di­date to chal­lenge Cantwell, so NPI chose to pit McKen­na against Cantwell to test a best-case sce­nario for Republicans.

As expect­ed, Hutchi­son fares worse than McKenna.

QUESTION: If the elec­tion for U.S. Sen­ate were held today and the can­di­dates were Demo­c­rat Maria Cantwell and Repub­li­can Susan Hutchi­son, who would you vote for?


  • Maria Cantwell: 52%
  • Susan Hutchi­son: 36%
  • Not sure: 12%

Our sur­vey of six hun­dred and sev­en­ty-five like­ly 2018 Wash­ing­ton State vot­ers was in the field May 22nd-23rd, 2018. The sur­vey used a blend­ed method­ol­o­gy with auto­mat­ed phone calls to land­lines and online inter­views of cell phone only respon­dents. The poll was con­duct­ed by Pub­lic Pol­i­cy Polling for NPI, and has a mar­gin of error of +/- 3.8% at the 95% con­fi­dence level.

As we can see, Cantwell has a robust lead over Hutchi­son. Her lev­el is sup­port is prac­ti­cal­ly iden­ti­cal to where it was last year, but the num­ber of unde­cid­ed vot­ers is dou­ble the size of what we saw in the hypo­thet­i­cal matchup with McKenna.

We all know that elec­tions can be unpre­dictable, and the only poll that tru­ly mat­ters wraps up on Elec­tion Day. How­ev­er, look­ing back at Cantwell’s per­for­mance in past sur­veys sug­gests she will be extreme­ly hard to beat in the Novem­ber election.

Six years ago, when Cantwell last sought reelec­tion, four sur­veys tak­en in the first sev­en months of 2012 con­sis­tent­ly put her sup­port at around 51%. Two were con­duct­ed by NPI’s poll­ster, while two were con­duct­ed by SurveyUSA.

Poll­sterDate of pollSam­pleMoECantwellBaum­gart­nerUnde­cid­ed
Sur­vey USAJan­u­ary 12–16, 2012617±4.0%50%41%8%
Pub­lic Pol­i­cy PollingFeb­ru­ary 16–19, 20121,264±2.76%51%36%13%
Pub­lic Pol­i­cy PollingJune 14–17, 20121,073±3.0%51%35%14%
Sur­vey USAJuly 16–17, 2012630±4.0%51%40%9%

In her last cam­paign, Cantwell went on to win by a dou­ble-dig­it mar­gin, secur­ing 60.45% of the vote statewide, while Bum­gart­ner obtained only 39.55%.

Democ­rats have con­sis­tent­ly won U.S. Sen­ate races in Wash­ing­ton State for over two decades, with 1994 being the last year the state elect­ed a Republican.

“Sen­a­tor Cantwell appears well posi­tioned to earn anoth­er term rep­re­sent­ing Wash­ing­to­ni­ans in the U.S. Sen­ate this year,” NPI’s founder and Exec­u­tive Direc­tor Andrew Vil­leneuve said after the sur­vey’s return from the field.

“In her last two cam­paigns, she dis­patched her Repub­li­can oppo­nents with ease. At this junc­ture, we have no rea­son to believe that Susan Hutchi­son will be a stronger chal­lenger than either Mike McGav­ick or Michael Baumgartner.”

“Susan Hutchison’s deficit now, accord­ing to our research, is iden­ti­cal to Michael Baum­gart­ner’s deficit at about this time in 2012 – it’s a six­teen point gap.”

“We know Sen­a­tor Cantwell went on to secure her biggest vic­to­ry ever just a few months lat­er. With 2018 shap­ing up to be a wave year for Democ­rats, we’ll be curi­ous to see if Sen­a­tor Cantwell can top her show­ing from 2012, and attain a new per­son­al best in a fed­er­al contest.”

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One Comment

  1. You can’t beat some­one with no one. Elec­tions should nev­er be a shoe-in for any­one. That is why our sys­tem is so corrupt.

    # by Garry Allyn DeManty :: May 24th, 2018 at 5:16 PM

One Ping

  1. […] to poll leads she held back in 2012 when she ran against state Sen. Michael Baum­gart­ner. Then, var­i­ous ear­ly polls had her lead­ing between 9 and 16 points, but she ulti­mate­ly went on to win the race by over 20 […]

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