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.

Friday, July 30th, 2021

Seattle polling recap: Most voters undecided, homelessness is their top 2021 concern

Two weeks ago, our team at NPI released the first find­ings from our July 2021 Top Two sur­vey of the Seat­tle elec­torate, indi­cat­ing that majori­ties of vot­ers weren’t sure who they were vot­ing for in most of this year’s city­wide races.

With Final GOTV (get out the vote) week­end begin­ning today, and Elec­tion Night now a hun­dred hours away, it seems like a good time to cir­cle back and take one final look at the elec­toral land­scape before the last sprint to the finish.

Here’s a recap of our findings:

Mayor of Seattle

Our poll finds Bruce Har­rell and Lore­na González lead­ing in the race for may­or, with Colleen Echohawk right behind González. Though a plu­ral­i­ty of vot­ers are unde­cid­ed, Har­rell appears to have a strong enough base of sup­port to clinch one of the top two spots. The sec­ond spot will most like­ly go to either González or Echohawk. Jessyn Far­rell and Andrew Grant Hous­ton were the two oth­er can­di­dates who stood apart from the oth­ers in the fif­teen strong field in our polling, but they’re not as close to González as Echohawk is.

Poll find­ing: The top contenders

  • Bruce Har­rell: 20%
  • Lore­na González: 12%
  • Colleen Echohawk: 10%
  • Jessyn Far­rell: 6%
  • Andrew Grant Hous­ton: 6%

32% are not sure/undecided.

Read this post to see the exact ques­tions we asked and the com­plete find­ings.

Seattle City Attorney

Our poll finds a three way race for City Attor­ney, with incum­bent Pete Holmes in dan­ger of being elim­i­nat­ed in the Top Two elec­tion. Holmes received 16% in our sur­vey, while chal­lengers Ann Davi­son and Nicole Thomas-Kennedy each received 14%. The gen­er­al elec­tion could be a matchup between any two of these can­di­dates. Since the release of our poll find­ing, Holmes has begun to cam­paign more aggres­sive­ly, tout­ing his endorse­ments and vocal­ly crit­i­ciz­ing his oppo­nents, par­tic­u­lar­ly Davi­son, who joined the Repub­li­can Par­ty last year.

Poll find­ing

  • Pete Holmes: 16%
  • Nicole Thomas-Kennedy: 14%
  • Ann Davi­son: 14%

53% are not sure/undecided.

Read this post to see the exact ques­tions we asked and the com­plete find­ings.

Seattle City Council Position #8 (At-Large)

Our poll finds that Coun­cilmem­ber Tere­sa Mosque­da, the spon­sor of Seat­tle’s Jump­Start rev­enue recov­ery plan, is on track for reelec­tion. Although only 28% of vot­ers backed Mosque­da in the sur­vey and 55% said they were unde­cid­ed, none of Mosqueda’s ten oppo­nents appears to be get­ting any trac­tion with vot­ers. Mosqueda’s most like­ly oppo­nent as of when our sur­vey returned from the field was Kate Mar­tin, best known for the unsuc­cess­ful “Park My Viaduct” cam­paign that sought to turn the rem­nants of the Alaskan Way Viaduct into a park.

Poll find­ing: The top contenders

  • Tere­sa Mosque­da: 26%
  • Kate Mar­tin: 6%

55% are not sure/undecided.

Read this post to see the exact ques­tions we asked and the com­plete find­ings.

Seattle City Council Position #9 (At-Large)

Our poll finds that the lead­ing can­di­date for the open seat being vacat­ed by Lore­na González (who is a may­oral hope­ful) is Nikki­ta Oliv­er. Oliv­er has built an impres­sive cam­paign that has res­onat­ed among many seg­ments of the elec­torate, and was the best per­form­ing can­di­date in our sur­vey except for Mosque­da, who is an incum­bent. Oliv­er’s most like­ly oppo­nent is Sara Nel­son, the cofounder of Fre­mont Brew­ing, but Bri­an­na Thomas, Gon­za­lez’s chief of staff, remains in con­tention. All three have unsuc­cess­ful­ly run for office in Seat­tle before: Oliv­er for may­or, and Nel­son and Thomas for coun­cil. One of them will win.

Poll find­ing: The top contenders

  • Nikki­ta Oliv­er: 26%
  • Sara Nel­son: 11%
  • Bri­an­na Thomas: 6%

50% are not sure/undecided.

Read this post to see the exact ques­tions we asked and the com­plete find­ings.

Voters’ top issue: Homelessness

Our poll finds that home­less­ness is the top issue that vot­ers most want the next May­or of Seat­tle to address. A relat­ed con­cern, attain­able hous­ing, was also cit­ed by many vot­ers as a top issue. Aside from tack­ling home­less­ness and hous­ing, vot­ers want pub­lic safe­ty and police reform to be a pri­or­i­ty for the next may­or. Small­er num­bers of respon­dents cit­ed oth­er issues, like expand­ing tran­sit, tak­ing action to address cli­mate dam­age, and improv­ing education.

Poll find­ing: The top issues

  • Address the city’s home­less­ness cri­sis: 68%
  • Police reform (defund, demil­i­ta­rize, change nature of): 18%
  • Improve pub­lic safe­ty and tack­le crime: 17%
  • Bring down hous­ing costs (i.e. through rent con­trol): 13%
  • Police sup­port (increase fund­ing, deploy more offi­cers): 10%

Read this post to see the exact ques­tions we asked and the com­plete find­ings.

Speaking of homelessness…

A coali­tion that is hop­ing to alter Seat­tle’s city char­ter to add new direc­tives regard­ing home­less­ness suc­cess­ful­ly qual­i­fied their mea­sure to the gen­er­al elec­tion bal­lot this week. Anoth­er coali­tion that has formed in oppo­si­tion says that the mea­sure, Char­ter Amend­ment 29, will sim­ply make hous­ing attain­abil­i­ty even worse. How­ev­er, at least right now, most vot­ers we sur­veyed are inclined to vote for the amend­ment, includ­ing vot­ers of col­or and young voters.

Poll find­ing: Char­ter Amend­ment 29

  • Would vote yes to approve: 61%
  • Would vote no to reject: 23%
  • Not sure: 16%

Read this post to see the exact ques­tions we asked and the com­plete find­ings.

And read this post for addi­tion­al crosstabs and analy­sis.

Survey methodology

Our sur­vey was in the field through Mon­day, July 12th, through Thurs­day, July 15th. 617 like­ly August 2021 Seat­tle vot­ers took the sur­vey, with all par­tic­i­pat­ing online. The poll was con­duct­ed by Change Research for NPI, and has a mod­eled mar­gin of error of 4.3% at the 95% con­fi­dence interval.

The countdown to Election Night is on!

We’d be hon­ored to have you stop by the Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate any­time on Elec­tion Night. We’ll be ana­lyz­ing the ear­ly returns begin­ning a lit­tle after 8 PM.

A week from today at this junc­ture, we should have four days’ worth of num­bers from elec­tions offi­cials (Tues­day night, Wednes­day after­noon, Thurs­day after­noon, Fri­day after­noon) and it should be pret­ty appar­ent in all but the tight­est races who will be mov­ing on to the gen­er­al election.

If you haven’t vot­ed yet, it’s time to sit down and get it done — it’s extreme­ly impor­tant that you vote! Bal­lot drop box­es will be open until 8 PM on Tues­day, August 3rd, and you can also return your bal­lot through the Unit­ed States Postal Ser­vice, no stamp required. Don’t delay; vote today! The soon­er you vote, the soon­er you can start check­ing on fam­i­ly and friends to see if they have voted.

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