With less than a week to go until Election Day, King County Prosecuting Attorney hopefuls Leesa Manion and Jim Ferrell are running about even in the contest to select a new chief law enforcement officer for Washington State’s largest local jurisdiction, a new Northwest Progressive Institute poll has found.
32% of a large sample of likely 2022 King County voters surveyed online this week for NPI by Change Research said they had voted or were planning to vote for Leesa Manion, the chief of staff to current Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg, while 31% said they had voted or were planning to vote for Jim Ferrell, the Mayor of Federal Way, who is also seeking the office.
In the aggregate, 3% did not vote in the contest, 19% did not recall how they had voted, 14% were not sure, and 2% said they would not vote on this position.
Manion has a six point lead among those who have already voted, while Ferrell initially has a nine point lead among those who have not yet voted.
A majority of the not sure voters (50%) remain unsure who they are voting for even after reviewing information about the candidates from the voter’s pamphlet. 24% of them back Manion, 19% back Ferrell, and 2% said they would not vote.
These results suggest that this important downballot race could go either way. It’s extremely competitive. When we first surveyed it back in the summer, we likewise found the candidates initially tied at 8% each, with a whopping 83% undecided.
Fewer voters are now undecided, but this latest poll suggests Manion and Ferrell are still close to each other. Notably, a third of the voters who had already voted said they could not recall who they had supported, which makes that part of the dataset more incomplete than our team would like.
Here’s the exact questions we asked and the responses we received:
QUESTION: In the election for King County Prosecuting Attorney, who did you vote for?
Respondents who told us that they had already voted were shown this question.
- Jim Ferrell: 28%
- Leesa Manion: 34%
- Did not vote on this: 5%
- Do not recall: 33%
Haven’t yet voted
QUESTION: The candidates for King County Prosecuting Attorney are listed below in the order they appear on the general election ballot. Who are you voting for?
Respondents who told us that they had not yet voted were shown this question.
- Jim Ferrell: 25%
- Leesa Manion: 16%
- Not sure: 60%
FOLLOW-UP QUESTION ASKED OF UNDECIDED VOTERS ONLY: Here are biographical details about each of the candidates along with a link to their complete statements in the voter’s pamphlet.
About Jim Ferrell
Education: University of Washington — Bachelor of Arts; Gonzaga University – Law Degree
Occupation: Mayor of Federal Way; former King County Senior Deputy Prosecutor
About Leesa Manion
Education: JD Seattle University School of Law; BA, Northern Kentucky University
Occupation: 27 years Deputy Prosecutor; 15 years Prosecutor’s Chief of Staff
Read the full candidate statements for Jim Ferrell and Leesa Manion that were published by King County Elections at this kingcounty.gov link.
If you had to choose, who would you vote for?
- Jim Ferrell: 19%
- Leesa Manion: 24%
- Not sure: 50%
- Would not vote: 7%
COMBINED ANSWERS (AGGREGATE), ALL QUESTIONS:
- Jim Ferrell: 31%
- Leesa Manion: 32%
- Did not vote on this: 3%
- Don’t recall: 19%
- Not sure: 14%
- Would not vote: 2%
Jim Ferrell’s name was always shown to respondents first and Leesa Manion’s name was always shown second, as that is the order the candidates are listed on the general election ballot. The candidates’ photographs from the voter’s pamphlet statement were shown to voters alongside their names.
Our survey of 740 likely 2022 King County general election voters was in the field from Friday, October 28th until today, Thursday, November 3rd.
The poll was conducted entirely online for the Northwest Progressive Institute by Change Research and has a modeled margin of error of 4.0%.
Follow this link if you’re interested in a detailed primer on the survey’s methodology along with information about who took the poll.
A few insights from the crosstabs:
- Female voters prefer Manion to a slight extent and male voters prefer Ferrell to a slight extent. In the aggregate, 35% of voters identifying as women backed Manion while 29% backed Ferrell. 33% of voters identifying as men backed Ferrell while 28% backed Manion.
- Manion does better with college educated voters in the aggregate (36% to Ferrell’s 30%) while Ferrell does better with non-college voters in the aggregate (33% to Manion’s 26%).
- Manion has a four point lead (32% to 28%) with white voters in the aggregate, while voters of color are split in the aggregate between the two candidates (34% for Ferrell, 33% for Manion)
- Ferrell has an advantage with Asian American Pacific Islander voters. 37% of them back Ferrell in the aggregate, while 29% back Manion.
- The youngest voters prefer Manion by a two-to-one margin. In the aggregate, 41% of those ages eighteen to thirty-four expressed a preference for Manion and 20% expressed a preference for Ferrell.
- Older voters prefer Ferrell. In the aggregate, Ferrell has a ten point lead over Manion with voters over the age of sixty-five (37% to Manion’s 27%) and an eleven point lead among voters ages fifty to sixty-four (38% to Manion’s 27%). Older voters who had already voted said they did not recall who they had voted for in greater numbers than younger voters.
- Manion has a slight edge with voters ages thirty-five to forty-nine. In the aggregate, 31% of them back her and 29% prefer Ferrell.
- Manion is favored by 39% of Biden voters in the aggregate, while Ferrell is favored by 24% of Biden voters. Ferrell has the edge with Trump voters in the aggregate: 51% of them prefer him and just 10% back Manion.
Finally, with respect to geography, Manion leads in Seattle and on the Eastside plus Seattle’s northern suburbs; Ferrell leads in South King County and in the rural portion of the county. Here are those numbers:
- Ferrell: 27%
- Manion: 35%
- Eastside and North Lake Washington
- Ferrell: 26%
- Manion: 30%
- South King County
- Ferrell: 40%
- Manion: 30%
- Rural King County
- Ferrell: 32%
- Manion: 26%
Ferrell’s strongest region is South King County, where he’s from; Manion’s strongest region is Seattle, the most liberal part of the county.
Manion has raised $377,374.40 for her campaign and spent $349,245.25; Ferrell has raised $397,632.43 and spent $367,057.21.
Manion is supported by the King County Democrats, King County Executive Dow Constantine, and outgoing Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg.
You can see a longer list of Manion’s endorsements here.
Ferrell is endorsed by U.S. Representative Adam Smith, suburban mayors like Renton’s Armondo Pavone, and a number of police officers’ unions.
You can see a longer list of Ferrell’s endorsements here.
The Seattle Times has enthusiastically endorsed Ferrell; The Stranger has enthusiastically endorsed Manion.
Ferrell has previously criticized NPI’s research. In an appearance on Jason Rantz’s right wing talk radio show in August, he falsely characterized our previous poll finding as a “push poll.” This dishonesty was extremely disappointing and troubling to our team. We work very hard to ask neutral questions of representative samples and follow the scientific method in our polling.
Ferrell’s false characterization of our research was unbecoming of a candidate seeking a position of public responsibility, especially one as important as this.
For those who are not regular readers or supporters of our work, it’s important to know that the Northwest Progressive Institute does not endorse candidates, or engage in electioneering for or against any candidate. We are not aligned with either of these Prosecuting Attorney hopefuls. We did not test any negative messages about either candidate in this survey; the only information provided to respondents about them were the candidates’ voter’s pamphlet statements.
This contest did not appear on the August Top Two ballot (because only two candidates filed) and there has been no other public polling of it besides our previous survey in July-August, which is available here.
At NPI, we specialize in asking questions that no one else is asking. We are very happy to be able to publish this finding today as a public service to the people of King County. If you appreciate our research and want it to continue, we invite you to become a member of NPI or make a one-time donation.
[…] found Manion just one point ahead of Ferrell in the aggregate — a virtual tie. However, as the post announcing that finding detailed and explained, the poll found Manion had a lead greater than the modeled margin of error among voters who […]
[…] What our polling found: We polled the 2022 King County Prosecuting Attorney contest twice: once in the summer and again in the autumn, the week before Election Day. In the summer, we found rivals Leesa Manion and Jim Ferrell tied initially, but Manion’s biographical highlights resonated more with “not sure” respondents than Ferrell’s. In the autumn, we found Manion and Ferrell about tied again — however, Manion led among …. […]