Visualization of NPI's October 2022 King County Prosecuting Attorney poll finding
Visualization of NPI's October 2022 King County Prosecuting Attorney poll finding

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.

Visualization of NPI's October 2022 King County Prosecuting Attorney poll finding
Visu­al­iza­tion of NPI’s Octo­ber 2022 King Coun­ty Pros­e­cut­ing Attor­ney poll finding

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:

Already voted

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 link.

If you had to choose, who would you vote for?

  • Jim Fer­rell: 19%
  • Leesa Man­ion: 24%
  • Not sure: 50%
  • Would not vote: 7%

Aggregate responses


  • 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:

  • Seat­tle
    • 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.

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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