NPI's Cascadia Advocate

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

Thursday, October 31st, 2019

Elizabeth Warren is Donald Trump’s strongest challenger in Evergreen State, NPI poll finds

Of the three Demo­c­ra­t­ic hope­fuls cur­rent­ly con­sid­ered most like­ly to secure the par­ty’s nom­i­na­tion for Pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States in 2020, Unit­ed States Sen­a­tor Eliz­a­beth War­ren of Mass­a­chu­setts does the best in a hypo­thet­i­cal matchup against Repub­li­can Don­ald Trump, a new NPI poll has found.

But only by a smidgen.

60% of Wash­ing­to­ni­ans sur­veyed by Pub­lic Pol­i­cy Polling last week for the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute said they would vote for War­ren if the elec­tion were being held today and the can­di­dates were War­ren and Trump.

37% said they would vote for Trump, while 3% were not sure.

59% of those sur­veyed said they would vote for Biden if the can­di­dates were Biden and Trump, while 58% said they would vote for Sanders if the can­di­dates were Sanders and Trump. Against Biden and Sanders, Trump gets the same 37% he would get in the hypo­thet­i­cal matchup with Warren.

Notably, twice as many like­ly 2019 Wash­ing­ton State vot­ers (6%) said they were unde­cid­ed when asked about Sanders ver­sus Trump than when they were asked about War­ren or Biden ver­sus Trump (3%). Sanders would still deci­sive­ly defeat Don­ald Trump in a head to head matchup, however.

The main take­away from these find­ings is that who­ev­er is the Demo­c­ra­t­ic nom­i­nee next year can expect to claim Wash­ing­ton State’s twelve elec­toral votes. Wash­ing­ton is not and will not be a bat­tle­ground state.

Wash­ing­ton State has not sup­port­ed the Repub­li­can nom­i­nee for Pres­i­dent in decades. The state backed Ronald Rea­gan’s can­di­da­cy 1980 and 1984; since then, vot­ers in Wash­ing­ton have con­sis­tent­ly sup­port­ed the Demo­c­ra­t­ic nom­i­nee (Michael Dukakis, Bill Clin­ton, Al Gore, John Ker­ry, Barack Oba­ma, Hillary Clinton).

This is the sec­ond set of find­ings we have released from our recent sur­vey of nine hun­dred like­ly 2019 Wash­ing­ton State vot­ers, which was in the field from Tues­day, Octo­ber 22nd through Wednes­day, Octo­ber 23rd. We pre­vi­ous­ly released find­ings show­ing Wash­ing­to­ni­ans dis­ap­prove of Don­ald Trump and want him impeached.

The poll uti­lizes a blend­ed method­ol­o­gy inclu­sive of cell­phone only vot­ers, with 53% of respon­dents par­tic­i­pat­ing via land­line and 43% par­tic­i­pat­ing via text.

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.

In a pre­ced­ing sur­vey con­duct­ed last May for NPI by PPP, 59% of respon­dents said they would vote for Trump’s unnamed Demo­c­ra­t­ic chal­lenger were the elec­tion being held today. That poll was also of like­ly 2019 Wash­ing­ton State voters.

Here’s our War­ren ver­sus Trump ques­tion and responses:

QUESTION: If the elec­tion for Pres­i­dent were held today and the can­di­dates were Demo­c­rat Eliz­a­beth War­ren and Repub­li­can Don­ald Trump, who would you vote for?


  • War­ren: 60%
  • Trump: 37%
  • Not sure: 3%

Here are the num­bers by region:

QUESTION: If the elec­tion for Pres­i­dent were held today and the can­di­dates were Demo­c­rat Eliz­a­beth War­ren and Repub­li­can Don­ald Trump, who would you vote for?


  • King Coun­ty
    • War­ren: 77%
    • Trump: 21%
    • Not sure: 2%
  • North Puget Sound 
    • War­ren: 49%
    • Trump: 45%
    • Not sure: 6%
  • South Sound
    • War­ren: 53%
    • Trump: 43%
    • Not sure: 4%
  • Olympic Penin­su­la and South­west Washington 
    • War­ren: 60%
    • Trump: 38%
    • Not sure: 2%
  • East­ern Washington 
    • War­ren: 48%
    • Trump: 50%
    • Not sure: 2%

We found it strik­ing that in the East­ern Wash­ing­ton region, almost as many vot­ers said they’d sup­port Eliz­a­beth War­ren as Trump. Bernie Sanders also achieved 48% in his hypo­thet­i­cal matchup with Don­ald Trump in East­ern Wash­ing­ton, where­as Joe Biden got 43% to Trump’s 52% in East­ern Washington.

Biden per­forms just as well as War­ren or Sanders in every oth­er region of the state, but east of the Cas­cades, he los­es to Trump instead of pulling almost even.

This dis­par­i­ty is evi­dence that the con­ven­tion­al wis­dom held by many pun­dits about mov­ing to the mid­dle (or adopt­ing “cen­trist” posi­tions) is sim­ply not a recipe for bol­ster­ing sup­port for the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty in rur­al communities.

These num­bers show us that Democ­rats have noth­ing to lose and every­thing to gain from select­ing a pro­gres­sive as their nom­i­nee instead of a neolib­er­al. A pro­gres­sive nom­i­nee like War­ren or Sanders can secure more sup­port for the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty among rur­al vot­ers than a neolib­er­al like Biden can.

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One Comment

  1. I have sus­pect­ed for some time that the cen­trist argu­ments are flawed, this pro­vides good evi­dence, at least for this area. I hope we can get more cov­er­age of this to dis­prove (or prove) the claim in general.

    # by Randy Grein :: November 1st, 2019 at 12:33 PM
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