Maria Cantwell hosting a healthcare town hall
Maria Cantwell smiles as she listens to a constituent question at her healthcare town hall (Photo: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

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.”

Adjacent posts

2 replies on “Senator Maria Cantwell enjoys a robust lead over Susan Hutchison, new NPI poll finds”

  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.

Comments are closed.