Congressional generic ballot poll finding (October 2022)
Visualization of NPI's October 2022 congressional generic ballot poll finding

A near major­i­ty of like­ly vot­ers in Wash­ing­ton State say they are plan­ning to vote for the Demo­c­ra­t­ic can­di­date for Unit­ed States House in their con­gres­sion­al dis­trict as bal­lots land in mil­lions of mail­box­es for the 2022 gen­er­al elec­tion, the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute’s lat­est statewide poll has found.

49% of 782 respon­dents sur­veyed by Pub­lic Pol­i­cy Polling (PPP) for NPI from Octo­ber 19th-20th expressed a pref­er­ence for Democ­rats in U.S. House con­tests, while 40% expressed a pref­er­ence for Repub­li­cans. 11% were not sure.

Congressional generic ballot poll finding (October 2022)
Visu­al­iza­tion of NPI’s Octo­ber 2022 con­gres­sion­al gener­ic bal­lot poll finding

The nine point advan­tage for Democ­rats is small­er than the twelve point lead we found in our last statewide poll in June, but it’s larg­er than the six point lead Democ­rats had on the con­gres­sion­al gener­ic bal­lot in our Feb­ru­ary 2022 poll.

A gener­ic bal­lot ques­tion is so named because it does­n’t men­tion spe­cif­ic can­di­dates. It’s a way of mea­sur­ing the strength of a par­ty’s brand across either a state (in the case of a statewide poll) or the Unit­ed States as a whole.

Most con­gres­sion­al dis­tricts aren’t drawn to be com­pet­i­tive, how­ev­er, and the in-dis­trict dynam­ics of those that are can dif­fer sub­stan­tial­ly from statewide dynam­ics, so the topline results of a gener­ic bal­lot ques­tion can’t be used to draw con­clu­sions about how indi­vid­ual can­di­dates may fare in bat­tle­ground districts.

Nev­er­the­less, this data sug­gests that the Demo­c­ra­t­ic brand in Wash­ing­ton State is in much bet­ter shape than it was in 2010, the last time the coun­try had a midterm cycle dur­ing the first term of a Demo­c­ra­t­ic pres­i­dent. That year, Democ­rats were suf­fer­ing from what NPI’s state-lev­el poll­ster dubbed “a major enthu­si­asm gap.”

“Wash­ing­ton has one of the more severe enthu­si­asm gaps in the coun­try,” PPP’s Dean Deb­nam explained in a news release pub­lished on Novem­ber 1st, 2010. “Barack Oba­ma won the state by sev­en­teen points in 2008 but those plan­ning to vote this year sup­port­ed him by only a sev­en point margin.”

Democ­rats made a big push at the end of the 2010 cycle to close that gap and were able to save some of their crit­i­cal­ly endan­gered incum­bents. This year, Democ­rats begin the vot­ing peri­od in a far more advan­ta­geous position.

Here’s our ques­tion and the responses:

QUESTION: In the elec­tion for U.S. House, are you vot­ing for the Demo­c­ra­t­ic or Repub­li­can can­di­date from your district?


  • Demo­c­ra­t­ic can­di­date: 49% (-2% since June)
  • Repub­li­can can­di­date: 40% (+1% since June)
  • Not sure: 11% (+1% since June)

Our sur­vey of 782 like­ly 2022 Wash­ing­ton State midterm vot­ers was in the field from Wednes­day, Octo­ber 19th through Thurs­day, Octo­ber 20th. The sur­vey was con­duct­ed by Pub­lic Pol­i­cy Polling for the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute and has a mar­gin of error of +/- 3.5% at the 95% con­fi­dence interval.

It uti­lizes a blend­ed method­ol­o­gy, with auto­mat­ed phone calls to land­lines (50%) and text mes­sage answers from cell phone only respon­dents (50%).

More infor­ma­tion about the survey’s method­ol­o­gy is avail­able here.​

Wash­ing­ton State has a total of ten con­gres­sion­al dis­tricts. Six of them are con­sid­ered safe Demo­c­ra­t­ic and two are con­sid­ered safe Repub­li­can. A ninth dis­trict, WA-03 (South­west Wash­ing­ton) is clas­si­fied as “Lean Repub­li­can,” and the tenth, WA-08 (a cross-Cas­cades dis­trict) is clas­si­fied as a true tossup district.

Dis­trict NumberClas­si­fi­ca­tionCur­rent­ly Rep­re­sent­ed By
01Safe Demo­c­ra­t­icSuzan Del­Bene (D)
02Safe Demo­c­ra­t­icRick Larsen (D)
03Lean Repub­li­canJaime Her­rera Beut­ler (R)
04Safe Repub­li­canDan New­house (R)
05Safe Repub­li­canCathy McMor­ris Rodgers (R)
06Safe Demo­c­ra­t­icDerek Kilmer (D)
07Safe Demo­c­ra­t­icPrami­la Jaya­pal (D)
08TossupKim Schri­er (D)
09Safe Demo­c­ra­t­icAdam Smith (D)
10Safe Demo­c­ra­t­icMar­i­lyn Strick­land (D)

To prop­er­ly gauge in-dis­trict dynam­ics, it’s impor­tant to poll at the con­gres­sion­al dis­trict lev­el — and NPI has been doing so, most recent­ly in WA-03 last month.

In that sur­vey, we found that Demo­c­ra­t­ic can­di­date Marie Glue­senkamp Perez is run­ning a com­pet­i­tive cam­paign for Con­gress against Joe Kent, an ultra MAGA Repub­li­can oppo­nent who has staked out extreme posi­tions on a num­ber of issues, includ­ing repro­duc­tive rights and the future of our democ­ra­cy. Glue­senkamp Perez and Kent pre­vailed over cur­rent U.S. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Jaime Her­rera Beut­ler in the August Top Two elec­tion, putting an end to her reelec­tion bid.

To the north, Democ­rats and Repub­li­cans are locked in anoth­er pitched bat­tle in WA-08, a close­ly divid­ed dis­trict that sent Repub­li­cans to Con­gress for decades until Democ­rats flipped it in the last midterms with Dr. Kim Schrier.

Schri­er won reelec­tion in 2020 and is now seek­ing a third term. Schri­er’s Repub­li­can chal­lenger this year is extrem­ist Matt Larkin, who unsuc­cess­ful­ly ran for Attor­ney Gen­er­al in 2020. Larkin defeat­ed Rea­gan Dunn and Jesse Jensen in the Top Two elec­tion and now has the sup­port of the Wash­ing­ton State Repub­li­can Par­ty, the NRCC, and oth­er Repub­li­can groups for his candidacy.

A pletho­ra of attack ads blast­ing each of the can­di­dates (some of which are clear­ly cook­ie cut­ter pieces) are cur­rent­ly air­ing on tele­vi­sion sta­tions in the Seat­tle media mar­ket and are set to con­tin­ue through Novem­ber 8th.

With con­trol of the House on the line, the deci­sions that vot­ers in the 3rd and the 8th make this autumn will be huge­ly con­se­quen­tial not just for Wash­ing­ton and the Pacif­ic North­west, but the Unit­ed States as a whole.

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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