Patty Murray speaking at her 2019 Golden Tennis Shoe Awards luncheon
United States Senator Patty Murray (D-Washington) addresses supporters at her 2019 Golden Tennis Shoes Award luncheon (Photo: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

For the sec­ond time in as many weeks, a new poll has been released that cor­re­lates NPI’s recent statewide poll find­ings demon­strat­ing that it’s the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty that is head­ing into the midterms in Wash­ing­ton State with momen­tum and vote enthu­si­asm. Last week, it was Sur­veyUSA, in part­ner­ship with KING5, The Seat­tle Times, and our state’s two biggest pub­lic uni­ver­si­ties. Today, it’s Elway Research, in part­ner­ship with Cas­cade Pub­lic Medi­a’s Crosscut.

Crosscut/Elway found Pat­ty Mur­ray with a twen­ty-point advan­tage over Tiffany Smi­ley — her biggest lead of the entire cycle! — and a sim­i­lar twen­ty-point advan­tage for Democ­rats in state leg­isla­tive races. Crosscut/Elway also found that Democ­rats have a dou­ble dig­it lead on the con­gres­sion­al gener­ic ballot.

Here are the key horser­ace ques­tions and the findings:

U.S. Senate

QUESTION: As you prob­a­bly know, there be an elec­tion this year for U.S. Sen­a­tor. As things stand today, are you inclined to vote for…


  • Pat­ty Mur­ray: 53%
  • Tiffany Smi­ley: 33%
  • Unde­cid­ed: 15%

Congressional generic ballot

QUESTION: In the race for Con­gress in your dis­trict, are you inclined to vote for…

  • The Demo­c­ra­t­ic can­di­date: 51%
  • The Repub­li­can can­di­date: 32%
  • Oth­er: 3%
  • Unde­cid­ed: 13%

State legislative control

QUESTION: You will be asked to vote on two state rep­re­sen­ta­tives and per­haps a state sen­a­tor, depend­ing on your dis­trict. As things stand today, in these races for the state leg­is­la­ture, are you more like­ly to vote for … ?

  • Democ­rats: 54% 
    • All Democ­rats: 31%
    • Most­ly Democ­rats: 23%
  • Repub­li­cans: 34% 
    • Most­ly Repub­li­cans: 12%
    • All Repub­li­cans: 22%
  • Unde­cid­ed: 12%

And here’s the methodology:

The Poll was con­duct­ed July 7–11, 2022 with 400 reg­is­tered vot­ers in Wash­ing­ton. Almost 12% of respon­dents par­tic­i­pat­ed in live calls by land­line; near­ly 33% by live cell phone calls; and just over 55% par­tic­i­pat­ed online after text mes­sage invi­ta­tion. It has a mar­gin of error of ± 4.5% at a 95% con­fi­dence lev­el. This means that had this same sur­vey been con­duct­ed 100 times, the results would be with­in 4.5 per­cent­age points of the result report­ed here at least 95 times.

The full poll file is here.

Note that the poll was of reg­is­tered vot­ers; NPI’s June 2022 poll with Pub­lic Pol­i­cy Polling and Sur­veyUSA’s poll with its part­ners were of like­ly vot­ers. Sur­veyUSA inter­viewed over six hun­dred vot­ers; our sur­vey inter­viewed over a thousand.

The poll did not ask about the con­test for Sec­re­tary of State. There’s a spe­cial elec­tion for that office this year due to Kim Wyman’s res­ig­na­tion to take a job with CISA in the Biden admin­is­tra­tion. In NPI’s polling, Demo­c­ra­t­ic incum­bent Steve Hobbs leads a crowd­ed field, with no chal­lenger polling above 6%.

“There’s a lot to unpack here. This is going to be an inter­est­ing elec­tion. The Poll gives us a lot of hints about how interest­ing it will be, espe­cial­ly with par­ty loy­al­ties start­ing to shift in Wash­ing­ton, but not, appar­ent­ly, toward a red wave,” said Cross­cut News Edi­tor Don­na Gor­don Blank­in­ship in a press release.

“Repub­li­cans appeared to have momen­tum in Jan­u­ary, but The Jan­u­ary 6th Hear­ings and the Supreme Court deci­sions have shift­ed the polit­i­cal tide,” said poll­ster Stu­art Elway, who con­duct­ed the sur­vey. “Over­all, Wash­ing­ton vot­ers are anx­ious about the cur­rent state of affairs and dis­sat­is­fied with cur­rent lead­ers, but they are dis­in­clined to give the reins to the Republicans.”

(Props to Stu­art Elway for say­ing “reins” instead of “reigns” in his statement!)

Elway’s find­ings large­ly mir­ror those of Sur­veyUSA’s from ear­li­er this month, which in turn large­ly mir­ror our find­ings from last month.

We now have three statewide polls con­duct­ed with­in six­ty days which are all in gen­er­al agree­ment that Pat­ty Mur­ray has a dou­ble dig­it lead over Tiffany Smi­ley and momen­tum is on the Democ­rats’ side, with majori­ties sup­port­ive of con­tin­ued Demo­c­ra­t­ic con­trol of the Wash­ing­ton State Leg­is­la­ture and intend­ing to sup­port Demo­c­ra­t­ic can­di­dates for the Unit­ed States House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

Elway/Crosscut and KING5/SurveyUSA also found major­i­ty sup­port for ban­ning assault weapons. After we unveiled our find­ing on that issue last month, right wingers like Dori Mon­son tried to heap scorn on our research, argu­ing it was­n’t cred­i­ble. But it has now been cor­re­lat­ed twice over, show­ing once again that we suc­ceed­ed in get­ting a good sense of what pub­lic opin­ion in Wash­ing­ton is.

Wash­ing­ton’s August 2nd Top Two elec­tion is cur­rent­ly in progress and will end on Tues­day, August 2nd at 8 PM, when bal­lots are due back. Vot­ers will win­now large fields of can­di­dates for sev­er­al fed­er­al offices (and Sec­re­tary of State) down to just two apiece, regard­less of par­ty. Those top two can­di­dates will then square off with each oth­er in the Novem­ber gen­er­al election.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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