NPI's Cascadia Advocate

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

Saturday, March 23rd, 2019

Poll Watch: Early survey examines Washington’s 2020 gubernatorial landscape

Chism Strate­gies has released a sur­vey giv­ing prog­nos­ti­ca­tors an idea of what to expect in next year’s guber­na­to­r­i­al elec­tion in Wash­ing­ton State. The poll was con­duct­ed from March 8th to 10th among like­ly vot­ers.

The poll finds that among Democ­rats, Attor­ney Gen­er­al Bob Fer­gu­son has 24.6% sup­port – eclips­ing his clos­est rivals, King Coun­ty Exec­u­tive Dow Con­stan­tine (6.2%) and Pub­lic Land Com­mis­sion­er Hilary Franz (1.8%).

Attor­ney Gen­er­al Fer­gu­son has made his name in recent years as a vocal oppo­nent of the Trump regime. He has con­sis­tent­ly crit­i­cized for­mer Attor­ney Gen­er­al Jeff Ses­sions, and defend­ed Washington’s grow­ing mar­i­jua­na indus­try against the failed war on drugs men­tal­i­ty still espoused by offi­cials at the fed­er­al lev­el.

The poll found 46.3% sup­port for Repub­li­can Bill Bryant. Bryant isn’t cur­rent­ly run­ning, but since no high pro­file Repub­li­can has declared yet, the poll­ster sub­sti­tut­ed Bryant in as a ‘gener­ic’ Repub­li­can can­di­date. Bryant ran for gov­er­nor in 2016 and was wal­loped, los­ing by almost 9% to Jay Inslee.

Inslee was not includ­ed in the poll.

Although Wash­ing­ton has no term lim­its for gov­er­nor, Inslee has set his sights beyond Wash­ing­ton State. The two-term gov­er­nor announced his bid for the pres­i­den­cy on March 1st, and has put off mak­ing a deci­sion about seek­ing a third term as Washington’s chief exec­u­tive. His pres­i­den­tial cam­paign is express­ly focused on pro­tect­ing the plan­et; as he argued recent­ly on the Dai­ly Show, “you can’t solve oth­er prob­lems unless you solve cli­mate change”.

Wash­ing­ton Democ­rats have had great suc­cess in elect­ing gov­er­nors. The par­ty boasts the longest win­ning streak in guber­na­to­r­i­al races in the coun­try. Wash­ing­ton has not had a Repub­li­can gov­er­nor in office since 1985.

Of course, Bob Fer­gu­son is not nec­es­sar­i­ly a shoo-in; Wash­ing­ton uses a two-part gen­er­al elec­tion sys­tem that pits every can­di­date against each oth­er regard­less of par­ty affil­i­a­tion in the first round and allows the top two vote-win­ners to progress to the gen­er­al elec­tion – again, regard­less of their par­ty. This can result in unusu­al out­comes, like in 2016, when three Democ­rats run­ning for Trea­sur­er split the vote almost equal­ly, allow­ing two Repub­li­cans to advance to the runoff.

Still, the con­ven­tion­al wis­dom is that Fer­gu­son is favored to win if he runs.

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