An increasing number of voters in Washington State are planning to vote for Democratic candidates for the United States House in the coming midterms, while a shrinking percentage are planning to vote for Republican candidates, NPI’s most recent survey of the Washington State electorate has found.
51% of 1,039 likely 2022 voters interviewed last week for NPI by Public Policy Polling said they would vote for the Democratic candidate if the election were being held now, while 39% said they would vote for the Republican candidate.
10% were not sure.
In February, when our last statewide poll fielded, the Democratic advantage was just six percentage points. Now it’s twelve. In the span of just one season, the margin for Democrats in our research has doubled… and during a time when Republicans have been crowing that increases in the cost of living are going to power a big red tsunami that they expect to ride to victory.
The increased enthusiasm for Democrats is good news for United States Representative Kim Schrier, who represents the only congressional district in the state — the 8th — that is expected to be competitive this year. Most of the state’s ten congressional districts have either a strong Democratic or Republican lean and can therefore be expected to elect a Democrat or a Republican no matter what political winds happen to be blowing, or what the national landscape looks like.
The new 1st, 2nd, 6th, 7th, 9th, and 10th Districts were all drawn to be Democratic to varying degrees, with the 7th and 9th the most Democratic of all.
The 3rd, 4th, and 5th Districts, meanwhile, were all drawn to be Republican.
The 8th is unlike the other nine. It’s a true tossup district spanning the Cascades that can be won by either party and could go either way this November.
The new 8th includes suburban, exurban, and rural precincts in five different counties: King, Snohomish, Pierce, Kittitas, and Chelan. From its creation in the 1980s until 2018, it was a Republican district that always elected Republicans.
But in the last midterms, Democrats flipped it with Dr. Kim Schrier, a pediatrician from the Eastside of King County who campaigned energetically on healthcare.
Schrier won reelection in 2020 and is now in her second term. She’s being challenged in her bid for a third term by several Republicans, including King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn, the son of one of the Republicans who used to hold the seat, former United States Representative Jennifer Dunn.
Schrier needs suburban and exurban voters to be enthusiastic about voting Democratic to have the best chance of defeating Dunn or one of his fellow Republicans this autumn. This new data suggests that enthusiasm is building.
While this is a statewide finding — generic ballot questions like this are not district or contest-specific, which is why they are so named — we can see from looking at the crosstabs that momentum for Democrats is growing in the portions of the state that Kim Schrier and her Republican opposition will be competing in.
For example, in King County, Democrats have a forty-point countywide advantage on the generic congressional ballot, up from twenty-three points in February. That’s significant. East King County powered Schrier’s 2018 and 2020 victories, and might just do so again in 2022 despite Republicans’ expectations.
Here is the text of the question we asked and the statewide numbers again:
QUESTION: If the general election for the United States House of Representatives were being held today, would you vote for the Democratic or Republican candidate from your district?
- Democratic candidate: 51%
- Republican candidate: 39%
- Not sure: 10%
Our survey of 1,039 likely 2022 Washington State voters was in the field from Wednesday, June 1st through Thursday, June 2nd, 2022.
It utilizes a blended methodology, with automated phone calls to landlines (50%) and text message answers from cell phone only respondents (50%).
The poll was conducted by Public Policy Polling for the Northwest Progressive Institute and has a margin of error of +/- 3.0% at the 95% confidence interval.
Kim Schrier’s campaign is one of many sponsors of NPI’s research, but had no involvement in the design or execution of this survey or the release of this finding.
Senator Patty Murray also appears to benefiting from increased enthusiasm for Democrats. As we reported last week, Murray has widened her lead over likely Republican opponent Tiffany Smiley from nine points in February to eleven points. It’s the first time this cycle that Murray’s lead has widened between two of our statewide research polls as opposed to narrowing.
We’ll be releasing additional findings from this survey as the week progresses.