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Friday, July 16th, 2021

Bruce Harrell, Lorena González lead in 2021 Seattle mayoral race with many undecided

For­mer Seat­tle City Coun­cilmem­ber Bruce Har­rell and cur­rent Seat­tle City Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Lore­na González are the cur­rent top two can­di­dates in the Emer­ald City’s 2021 field of fif­teen may­oral con­tenders, with a plu­ral­i­ty unde­cid­ed, a new poll con­duct­ed this week for the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute has found.

20% of 617 like­ly 2021 Top Two vot­ers in Seat­tle said they were vot­ing for Har­rell, while 12% said they were vot­ing for González. 10% said they were vot­ing for Colleen Echohawk, 6% said they were vot­ing for Jessyn Far­rell, and anoth­er 6% said they were vot­ing for Andrew Grant Hous­ton. 4% said they were vot­ing for Casey Sixkiller and anoth­er 4% said they were vot­ing for Arthur Langlie.

3% said they were vot­ing for Lance Ran­dall and 1% said they were vot­ing for James Don­ald­son. Anoth­er 1% said they were vot­ing for Bob­by Tucker.

The oth­er can­di­dates — Omari Tahir-Gar­rett, Clin­ton Bliss, Hen­ry Den­ni­son, Stan Lipp­mann, and Don Rivers — did not receive any sup­port in the survey.

32% of respon­dents (a plu­ral­i­ty) are undecided.

Mayor of Seattle poll finding, 2021

A visu­al of NPI’s poll find­ing for May­or of Seat­tle, 2021

The poll, which was con­duct­ed by Change Research for the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute, has a mod­eled mar­gin of error of 4.3% at the 95% con­fi­dence inter­val. All 617 respon­dents par­tic­i­pat­ed online. The poll was in the field from Mon­day, July 12th, 2021 through Thurs­day, July 15th, 2021.

Here are the exact ques­tions that we asked, and the respons­es that we received:

QUESTION: The can­di­dates for May­or of Seat­tle this year are list­ed below in the order that they will appear on the August Top Two bal­lot. Who are you vot­ing for?

[See list as it was shown to respon­dents]


  • Not sure: 54%
  • Bruce Har­rell: 15%
  • M. Lore­na González: 8%
  • Colleen Echohawk: 6%
  • Jessyn Far­rell: 4%
  • Andrew Grant Hous­ton: 3%
  • Arthur K. Lan­glie: 3%
  • Casey Sixkiller: 2%
  • Lance Ran­dall: 2%
  • Omari Tahir-Gar­rett: 0%
  • Bob­by Tuck­er: 0%
  • James Don­ald­son: 0%
  • Clin­ton Bliss: 0%
  • Hen­ry C. Den­ni­son: 0%
  • Stan Lipp­mann: 0%
  • Don L. Rivers: 0%

FOLLOW-UP QUESTION ASKED OF UNDECIDED VOTERS ONLY: If you had to choose, who would you vote for?


  • Not sure: 62%
  • Bruce Har­rell: 8%
  • M. Lore­na González: 6%
  • Colleen Echohawk: 6%
  • Andrew Grant Hous­ton: 4%
  • Casey Sixkiller: 3%
  • Jessyn Far­rell: 3%
  • James Don­ald­son: 2%
  • Lance Ran­dall: 2%
  • Arthur K. Lan­glie: 1%
  • Bob­by Tuck­er: 1%
  • Clin­ton Bliss: 0%
  • Hen­ry C. Den­ni­son: 0%
  • Stan Lipp­mann: 0%
  • Don L. Rivers: 0%
  • Omari Tahir-Gar­rett: 0%
  • Would not vote: 2%


  • Not sure: 32%
  • Bruce Har­rell: 20%
  • M. Lore­na González: 12%
  • Colleen Echohawk: 10%
  • Jessyn Far­rell: 6%
  • Andrew Grant Hous­ton: 6%
  • Casey Sixkiller: 4%
  • Arthur K. Lan­glie: 4%
  • Lance Ran­dall: 3%
  • James Don­ald­son: 1%
  • Bob­by Tuck­er: 1%
  • Omari Tahir-Gar­rett: 0%
  • Clin­ton Bliss: 0%
  • Hen­ry C. Den­ni­son: 0%
  • Stan Lipp­mann: 0%
  • Don L. Rivers: 0%
  • Would not vote: 1%

Bruce Har­rell — who the sur­vey crosstabs show is favored by old­er vot­ers — appears well posi­tioned to move on to the Novem­ber gen­er­al election.

Lore­na González’s hold on sec­ond place, mean­while, is more tenuous.

That’s because Colleen Echohawk came in just two points behind González. She was the only oth­er may­oral can­di­date besides Har­rell and González to reg­is­ter sup­port in the dou­ble dig­its in this survey.

Echohawk has clear­ly made a pos­i­tive impres­sion on Seat­tle vot­ers despite nev­er hav­ing run for office before. She can­not be count­ed out in this election.

González did just earn the sup­port of The Stranger, the city’s best known left lean­ing media out­let, and she has enthu­si­as­tic sup­port from the labor com­mu­ni­ty, so that could help her hold on to the sec­ond place spot. (A plu­ral­i­ty of respon­dents from union house­holds who have an opin­ion backed González.)

Still, Echohawk has an oppor­tu­ni­ty to con­tend for sec­ond place.

Jessyn Far­rell and Andrew Grant Hous­ton, mean­while, are tied for fourth place, with each receiv­ing 6%. While they can’t be count­ed out either, their chances of vault­ing into the top two seem much slim­mer than Echohawk’s.

The remain­ing can­di­dates all polled under 5% each or received no sup­port at all, as men­tioned above. They are all like­ly to be elim­i­nat­ed from con­sid­er­a­tion by vot­ers next month when the August Top Two elec­tion is certified.

King Coun­ty Elec­tions announced on Wednes­day that it had mailed over 1.4 mil­lion bal­lots to reg­is­tered vot­ers for the August Top Two election.

The depart­ment expects turnout of 40%, which would mean a return rate of two out of every five bal­lots. In 2019, the depart­ment notes we saw sum­mer turnout of 35% across King Coun­ty, while in 2017, it was 34%.

Turnout in Seat­tle will like­ly be high­er than the coun­ty as a whole.

Seat­tle vot­ers have a record of strong par­tic­i­pa­tion, and our sur­vey data shows that peo­ple are enthu­si­as­tic about vot­ing this sum­mer even if they don’t know who they’re vot­ing for yet. A whop­ping 88% of respon­dents said they “def­i­nite­ly” plan to vote, while only 8% said they will “prob­a­bly” vote. 4% said “maybe”.

(As stat­ed, the poll was of like­ly vot­ers, so any­one who said they weren’t vot­ing was thanked for their time and excused from the survey.)

Since near­ly a third of the like­ly vot­ers are unde­cid­ed with respect to their vote for may­or, the qual­i­ty, reach, and effec­tive­ness of the can­di­dates’ home stretch cam­paign­ing is going to mat­ter. Polls are snap­shots in time. This par­tic­u­lar dataset is a reflec­tion of the views of the Seat­tle elec­torate before bal­lots dropped.

There’s only three weeks left to go, yet those three weeks are when about one in three vot­ers indi­cat­ed to our poll­ster that they will be mak­ing a deci­sion about who they want to serve as Seat­tle’s chief exec­u­tive for the next four years.

Bal­lots in the August Top Two elec­tion are due back by Tues­day, August 3rd at 8 PM. A list of drop box loca­tions in Seat­tle and across Mar­tin Luther King Jr. Coun­ty is avail­able from King Coun­ty Elec­tions. Bal­lots can also be returned through the Unit­ed States Mail, but we rec­om­mend using a drop box.

NPI does not endorse can­di­dates for office and is not aligned with any of the can­di­dates run­ning for elect­ed posi­tions in Seat­tle this year. No cam­paigns were involved in the design or exe­cu­tion of this survey.

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  1. Thank you for the polling. I am not see­ing in the above and curi­ous to know how the online sam­ple was recruit­ed and what steps were tak­en to be sure they were a good rep­re­sen­ta­tive sample?

    # by Dan Eisenberg :: July 19th, 2021 at 4:16 PM
    • Hi Dan! Great ques­tion, and thank you for asking. 

      Here’s a primer on the method­ol­o­gy and the steps tak­en to ensure the sam­ple was rep­re­sen­ta­tive, cour­tesy of our pollster:

      Sur­vey method­ol­o­gy notes

      • Change Research, a Pub­lic Ben­e­fit Cor­po­ra­tion based in Cal­i­for­nia, sur­veyed 617 like­ly August 2021 Top Two elec­tion vot­ers in Seat­tle from Mon­day, July 12th to Thurs­day, July 15th on behalf of the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute. All respon­dents par­tic­i­pat­ed online.
      • Change used tar­get­ed adver­tise­ments on Face­book, tar­get­ed adver­tise­ments on Insta­gram, and text mes­sages sent via the echo19 and/or Scale To Win plat­forms to cell phone num­bers list­ed on the vot­er file for indi­vid­u­als who qual­i­fied for the survey’s sam­ple uni­verse, based on their vot­er file data.
      • Regard­less of which of these sources a respon­dent came from, they were direct­ed to a sur­vey host­ed on SurveyMonkey’s web­site. Ads placed on social media tar­get­ed all adults liv­ing in Seat­tle. Those who indi­cat­ed that they were not reg­is­tered to vote were terminated.
      • As the sur­vey field­ed, Change used dynam­ic online sam­pling: adjust­ing ad bud­gets, low­er­ing bud­gets for ads tar­get­ing groups that were over­rep­re­sent­ed and rais­ing bud­gets for ads tar­get­ing groups that were under­rep­re­sent­ed, so that the final sam­ple was rough­ly rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the pop­u­la­tion across dif­fer­ent groups.
      • The sur­vey was con­duct­ed in Eng­lish, and has a mod­eled mar­gin of error of 4.3% at the 95% con­fi­dence interval.
      # by Andrew Villeneuve :: July 19th, 2021 at 6:59 PM
  2. Do you still see Bruce Har­rell in the lead? Will you be doing anoth­er poll now that there are two candidates?

    # by Leora R. :: August 9th, 2021 at 6:13 PM
    • Hi Leo­ra! Yes, we will be doing anoth­er poll of Seat­tle vot­ers for the gen­er­al elec­tion. That will field in October.

      # by Andrew Villeneuve :: August 9th, 2021 at 6:17 PM

7 Pings

  1. […] the may­oral race, for­mer Seat­tle City Coun­cil mem­ber Bruce Har­rell topped the list, receiv­ing 20% in the poll. […]

  2. […] Bruce Har­rell, Lore­na González lead in 2021 Seat­tle may­oral race with many undecided […]

  3. […] in the may­oral race, where we saw a gen­er­a­tional divide with respect to vot­ers’ pref­er­ences in the crowd­e…, ini­tial sup­port for Char­ter Amend­ment 29 is rea­son­ably strong across age […]

  4. […] May­or. He’s one of the fif­teen can­di­dates vying to be the city’s next may­or. In NPI’s recent sur­vey of the Seat­tle Top Two elec­torate, Har­rell came out on top of the field with 20% of respon­dents indi­cat­ing they were voting […]

  5. […] Read this post to see the exact ques­tions we asked and the com­plete findings. […]

  6. […] Echohawk, who was not far behind Lore­na González in our poll last month, is in third in these ear­ly returns. But while the poll put her sup­port at around […]

  7. […] the poll found: Of the fif­teen can­di­date field, the poll indi­cat­ed that Bruce Har­rell and Lore­na Gon­za­lez were the fron­trun­ners, with 32% (a plu­ral­i­ty) unde­cid­ed. Har­rell placed first in the poll and Gonzalez […]

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