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.

Tuesday, May 28th, 2019

Washingtonians unhappy with Donald Trump, want to replace him with a Democrat in 2020

A supermajority of Washington State voters disapprove of Donald Trump and say they’d support his Democratic opponent if the 2020 election were being held now, according to a new survey conducted for the Northwest Progressive Institute.

61% of respondents surveyed by Public Policy Polling on NPI’s behalf last week said they disapproved of Trump’s job performance, while 59% said they would vote for Trump’s Democratic challenger if the election were being held today.

Last year, when we asked Washingtonians about Trump’s job performance, 59% disapproved while 35% approved, while 6% were not sure.

In this year’s survey, an identical percentage of respondents approved of Trump’s performance, while a slightly greater percentage (61%) disapproved. The percentage of respondents who were unsure shrank accordingly.

Trump handily lost Washington in 2016 and no credible political observer expects him to win the Evergreen State in 2020. However, the Washington State Republican Party has two statewide incumbents it will be trying to defend next year: Secretary of State Kim Wyman and Treasurer Duane Davidson.

Trump’s presence atop the ticket could potentially hurt both Wyman and Davidson (as well as Republican legislative candidates) with a reverse coattails effect.

Our data shows that Donald Trump is losing support on both sides of the Cascade Mountains. Trump has always been unpopular in Puget Sound, of course, but it’s significant that he’s now unpopular everywhere… even in places he carried almost three years ago, like Eastern Washington. (Every county east of the Cascades voted for Trump three years ago except for Whitman County.)

Voters on the Olympic Peninsula and Southwest Washington are even more unhappy with Trump. And they have every reason to be: Trump hasn’t done anything to bring jobs back to their communities like he falsely promised he would.

Here are the statewide numbers:

QUESTION: Do you approve or disapprove of President Donald Trump’s job performance?

ANSWERS:

  • Disapprove: 61%
  • Approve: 35%
  • Not sure: 4%

And here are the numbers by region:

QUESTION: Do you approve or disapprove of President Donald Trump’s job performance?

ANSWERS:

  • King County
    • Disapprove: 71%
    • Approve: 24%
    • Not sure: 5%
  • North Puget Sound
    • Disapprove: 59%
    • Approve: 39%
    • Not sure: 2%
  • South Sound
    • Disapprove: 60%
    • Approve: 33%
    • Not sure: 6%
  • Olympic Peninsula and Southwest Washington
    • Disapprove: 58%
    • Approve: 39%
    • Not sure: 2%
  • Eastern Washington
    • Disapprove: 51%
    • Approve: 47%
    • Not sure: 2%

As mentioned, Washington voters aren’t just unhappy with Trump; they’re ready to replace him with a Democratic opponent. Here are the statewide numbers:

QUESTION: If the election for President were held today, would you vote to re-elect Republican Donald Trump, or would you vote for his Democratic opponent?

ANSWERS:

  • Democratic opponent: 59%
  • Donald Trump: 34%
  • Not sure: 7%

And here are the numbers by region:

QUESTION: If the election for President were held today, would you vote to re-elect Republican Donald Trump, or would you vote for his Democratic opponent?

ANSWERS:

  • King County
    • Democratic opponent: 68%
    • Donald Trump: 24%
    • Not sure: 8%
  • North Puget Sound
    • Democratic opponent: 57%
    • Donald Trump: 33%
    • Not sure: 9%
  • South Sound
    • Democratic opponent: 60%
    • Donald Trump: 33%
    • Not sure: 7%
  • Olympic Peninsula and Southwest Washington
    • Democratic opponent: 56%
    • Donald Trump: 37%
    • Not sure: 7%
  • Eastern Washington
    • Democratic opponent: 51%
    • Donald Trump: 47%
    • Not sure: 3%

Our survey of eight hundred and eighty-six likely 2019 Washington State voters was in the field from Tuesday, May 21st through Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019.

It utilizes 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 the Northwest Progressive Institute, and has a margin of error of +/- 3.3% at the 95% confidence level.

Nationwide polls show that more Americans also disapprove of Trump’s job performance than approve, although the disparity is less pronounced than it is in Democratic-controlled states such as Washington.

Trump’s growing unpopularity in Washington suggests that Republicans are in no position to go on offense next year. They’ll have to play really good defense just to hold on to what they still have. Meanwhile, Democrats have an opportunity to grow their already large House and Senate majorities and take total control of the state executive department by ousting Duane Davidson and Kim Wyman.

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