NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Friday, September 2nd, 2022

Democratic congressional hopeful Marie Perez: We can beat Joe Kent, win WA-03

The cam­paign of Demo­c­ra­t­ic con­gres­sion­al hope­ful Marie Glue­senkamp Perez released inter­nal polling today that shows Perez nar­row­ly ahead of ultra MAGA Repub­li­can rival Joe Kent in the forth­com­ing gen­er­al elec­tion for Unit­ed States Rep­re­sen­ta­tive in Wash­ing­ton’s 3rd, sug­gest­ing that there is a path to vic­to­ry for Perez and the Democ­rats in a dis­trict they haven’t cap­tured since 2008.

Glue­senkamp Perez and Kent emerged as the two final­ists in last mon­th’s Top Two elec­tion, oust­ing incum­bent Jaime Her­rera Beut­ler, who was first elect­ed to rep­re­sent the dis­trict in 2010. Her­rera Beut­ler angered the Trump base by vot­ing to impeach Trump fol­low­ing the Jan­u­ary 6th insur­rec­tion that Trump incited.

Kent — an ultra MAGA Repub­li­can in the mold of Lau­ren Boe­bert, Matt Gaetz, and Mar­jorie Tay­lor Greene — secured and cam­paigned with Trump’s endorsement.

Glue­senkamp Perez, who declared her can­di­da­cy only a few weeks before Fil­ing Week, placed first in the Top Two as a con­se­quence of Repub­li­can vote split­ting. Anoth­er Demo­c­ra­t­ic can­di­date, Brent Hen­nrich, bowed out and endorsed her before the dead­line to file, help­ing uni­fy Democ­rats behind her.

Now, with Her­rera Beut­ler out, Glue­senkamp Perez is the only alter­na­tive on the bal­lot to Kent. Her cam­paign hopes the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty will pri­or­i­tize the race, espe­cial­ly now that she has data indi­cat­ing she has a path to victory.

Marie Perez with her family

Marie Perez with her fam­i­ly (Cam­paign photo)

“In an ini­tial head-to-head bal­lot test, before vot­ers are primed with any addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion, Glue­senkamp Perez leads Kent, 47% to 45%, with eight per­cent of vot­ers unde­cid­ed,” Perez’s cam­paign said in a release.

“These results are incred­i­bly encour­ag­ing and show that peo­ple are tired of extrem­ists hijack­ing Wash­ing­ton. They want their rep­re­sen­ta­tive to under­stand their every­day chal­lenges and are will­ing to work with any­one to solve them,” Glue­senkamp Perez said in a state­ment sent to the press.

“As a small busi­ness own­er of a repair shop, I know first-hand that gov­ern­ment is often in the way and that crime is out of con­trol. I’ll work to stream­line bureau­cra­cies and secure invest­ments for things like job train­ing pro­grams to give peo­ple real skills to get good jobs, so small busi­ness­es like mine can final­ly solve work­er shortages.”

The poll was con­duct­ed for the Glue­senkamp Perez cam­paign by the Demo­c­ra­t­ic-aligned firm Expe­di­tion Strate­gies from August 25th-30th, 2022. 400 like­ly gen­er­al elec­tion vot­ers par­tic­i­pat­ed. The poll has a mar­gin of error of +/- 4.9%.

The cam­paign says that in addi­tion to find­ing Glue­senkamp Perez just ahead of Kent in an ini­tial head-to-head, its research has found that Kent is “well known and wide­ly dis­liked among dis­trict vot­ers.” Specif­i­cal­ly, 75% of respon­dents said they know enough to have formed an opin­ion of Kent, with 39% express­ing an unfa­vor­able view. Notably, 30% have a strong­ly neg­a­tive view.

Few­er vot­ers have formed an opin­ion about Glue­senkamp Perez yet, but most of those who do have an opin­ion indi­cat­ed their first impres­sions are pos­i­tive. 29% over­all view her favor­ably and anoth­er 17% view her unfavorably.

The cam­paign’s inter­nal polling was men­tioned and repro­duced by Politi­co’s Play­book newslet­ter this morn­ing, ensur­ing it will be noticed by at least some folks in the Oth­er Wash­ing­ton. The Cook Polit­i­cal Report already reclas­si­fied the con­test as “Leans Repub­li­can” fol­low­ing Her­rera Beut­ler’s loss last month.

Glue­senkamp Perez’s cam­paign has pub­lished and dis­trib­uted a memo shar­ing select­ed high­lights from its inter­nal poll, which you can read below.

Inter­nal Marie Perez polling highlights

A notable num­ber of respon­dents said that they think the terms “a MAGA sup­port­er” and “extrem­ist” best describe Kent, who has loud­ly gone on record in defense of the Jan­u­ary 6th insur­rec­tion­ists and demand­ed they be left alone.

Right wing talk show host Michael Medved recent­ly opined that the Wash­ing­ton State Repub­li­can Par­ty is in trou­ble in the wake of Ken­t’s vic­to­ry.

Medved also char­ac­ter­ized Glue­senkamp Perez as the lead­ing candidate.

“I think that most peo­ple of con­science will not be able to sup­port Joe Kent, whether he’s the Repub­li­can nom­i­nee or not. And this is the basic point. These are pri­maries we’re talk­ing about. The rea­son Jaime [Her­rera] Beut­ler lost is not because she doesn’t have major­i­ty sup­port in her dis­trict. It’s because Repub­li­cans were split here,” Medved said in an appear­ance on the Gee and Ursu­la Show. “Democ­rats were unit­ed, there was only one Demo­c­ra­t­ic can­di­date, who I believe has to be con­sid­ered the front run­ner right now in that district.”

Medved then point­ed out that the Repub­li­can Par­ty has turned into a cult.

“I find it intense­ly wor­ri­some and very depress­ing that one of our two major par­ties has become a more like a cult of per­son­al­i­ty where basi­cal­ly every­thing is mea­sured, and every­thing is eval­u­at­ed based upon your loy­al­ty to one man.”

While Medved’s obser­va­tion about the Repub­li­can Par­ty is spot on, it’s worth not­ing that Wash­ing­ton State uti­lizes a two part gen­er­al elec­tion rather than a real pri­ma­ry to select can­di­dates for office. If Her­rera Beut­ler did in fact have over­all major­i­ty sup­port in WA-03, she would have sur­vived and advanced to the Top Two, regard­less of the ultra MAGA fac­tion vot­ing for anoth­er candidate.

But she lost because most Repub­li­can vot­ers turned on her and she could­n’t get Demo­c­ra­t­ic sup­port to make up for it. Demo­c­ra­t­ic vot­ers not sur­pris­ing­ly opt­ed for a Demo­c­ra­t­ic can­di­date — Glue­senkamp Perez. It is a sce­nario that the can­di­date has been talk­ing about for months on the trail with any­one who would listen.

Now that sce­nario has come to pass. There’s no incum­bent in this race any­more. By all accounts, inter­est in her can­di­da­cy among Democ­rats is skyrocketing.

So are dona­tions: Glue­senkamp Perez raised more than $600,000 just in August.

Repub­li­cans may scoff at the notion of WA-03 flip­ping this Novem­ber. But Mary Pel­to­la’s win this week in Alas­ka demon­strates that what has long been thought of as Repub­li­can turf can be won by a Demo­c­rat, espe­cial­ly when the Repub­li­cans put up an unap­peal­ing can­di­date. Any­thing is pos­si­ble in politics.

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  1. […] extreme and too pro-Trump in the forth­com­ing gen­er­al elec­tion. Anoth­er WA-03 twist — thanks to Marie Glue­senkamp Perez’s can­di­da­cy — may well be in […]

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