Bernie Sanders walking in a parade
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders walking in the Independence Day parade with supporters in Ames, Iowa. (Photo: Gage Skidmore, reproduced under a Creative Commons license)

A recent­ly released poll con­duct­ed by Sur­veyUSA for TEG­NA’s KING5 has yield­ed a strong result for Unit­ed States Sen­a­tor Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

26% of like­ly Demo­c­ra­t­ic vot­ers in Wash­ing­ton indi­cat­ed that they would vote for the social­ist sen­a­tor, putting Sanders five points ahead of his clos­est rival, for­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Biden, and far in the lead of the oth­er can­di­dates in the race for the Demo­c­ra­t­ic nomination.

Here are the full results of the poll:

  • Sen­a­tor Bernie Sanders (26%)
  • For­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Biden (21%)
  • Sen­a­tor Eliz­a­beth War­ren (16%)
  • For­mer May­or of New York Michael Bloomberg (12%)
  • For­mer May­or of South Bend Pete Buttigieg (8%)
  • Entre­pre­neur Andrew Yang (4%)
  • Sen­a­tor Amy Klobuchar (3%)
  • Bil­lion­aire Tom Stey­er (2%)

Almost two thirds (64%) of respon­dents said they might change their minds between now and March 10th, the final day of Washington’s primary.

The results from the ear­ly states — like Iowa — might prompt some vot­ers to change their minds. Polling aver­ages pre­dict a strong per­for­mance for Sanders in Iowa, but the unpre­dictable nature of the cau­cus sys­tem makes pre­dic­tion a tricky busi­ness. If Sanders out­per­forms expec­ta­tions, it could pro­pel more Wash­ing­to­ni­ans to place their con­fi­dence in him; if he under per­forms, his sup­port might take a hit in the next few weeks.

It is unsur­pris­ing that Sanders has a robust base of sup­port Wash­ing­ton State. Sanders dom­i­nat­ed the state’s Demo­c­ra­t­ic cau­cus­es in 2016, net­ting the vast major­i­ty of the state’s del­e­gates to Philadel­phia. (Cau­cus­es have pre­vi­ous­ly been used by the Wash­ing­ton State Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty to allo­cate its nation­al con­ven­tion del­e­gates, but the par­ty will use a pri­ma­ry this year.)

Although Sanders bills him­self as a demo­c­ra­t­ic social­ist, Wash­ing­to­ni­ans are much less sus­cep­ti­ble to “Red Ter­ror” night­mares than much of the rest of the coun­try – a fact evi­denced by the reelec­tion of Kshama Sawant (a proud mem­ber of Social­ist Alter­na­tive) to Seattle’s City Coun­cil last November.

Sanders also sup­ports the Green New Deal and has intro­duced an array of pro­pos­als to tack­le the cli­mate cri­sis, which is an impor­tant polit­i­cal pri­or­i­ty for Demo­c­ra­t­ic vot­ers in Cascadia.

While Sanders’ strong show­ing in KING 5 News’ poll was hard­ly a sur­prise to any­one, some polit­i­cal experts were tak­en aback by the depth and diver­si­ty of his sup­port. Gone are the days of 2016, when Sanders strug­gled to win the sup­port of non-white vot­ers, while Hillary Clin­ton drew on well-estab­lished net­works in minor­i­ty communities.

This time around, Sanders is the can­di­date with the most diverse sup­port. He came out top among black vot­ers (35%) and Asian-Amer­i­can vot­ers (44%), and came sec­ond place among His­pan­ics (24%, to Michael Bloomberg’s 27%). This news is dou­bly pos­i­tive for the Sanders cam­paign, as Wash­ing­ton is one of the twen­ty most diverse states in the nation – where­as the ear­ly states of Iowa and New Hamp­shire are among the least diverse.

The dead­line for Wash­ing­to­ni­ans to cast their bal­lots will arrive in the mid­dle of the month where over 60% of the del­e­gates need­ed to win the Demo­c­ra­t­ic nom­i­na­tion will be allo­cat­ed, which means Wash­ing­ton will be — in the words of one polit­i­cal observ­er — right in the thick of it.

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