NPI's Cascadia Advocate

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

Monday, June 12th, 2023

Joe Biden leads Donald Trump in Washington by seventeen points, Ron DeSantis by twelve

Pres­i­dent Joe Biden enjoys a sev­en­teen point lead in Wash­ing­ton State for anoth­er term over his indict­ed pre­de­ces­sor Don­ald Trump and a some­what small­er twelve point lead over right wing Flori­da Gov­er­nor Ron DeSan­tis, the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute’s most recent statewide sur­vey has found.

If the 2024 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion were being held today, 53% of 773 like­ly Wash­ing­ton State gen­er­al elec­tion vot­ers inter­viewed last week by Pub­lic Pol­i­cy Polling for NPI say they’d sup­port Biden’s reelec­tion if the can­di­dates were Biden and Trump. 36%, mean­while, would vote for Trump. 11% said they weren’t sure.

NPI poll finding: Two possible 2024 presidential matchups in Washington State as of June 2023

Visu­al­iza­tion of NPI’s June 2023 pres­i­den­tial poll find­ing, which asked Wash­ing­ton State respon­dents about two pos­si­ble 2024 pres­i­den­tial matchups (North­west Pro­gres­sive Institute)

DeSan­tis is, at least at this junc­ture, is a slight­ly stronger can­di­date than Trump for the Repub­li­cans in Wash­ing­ton State. In a hypo­thet­i­cal matchup with the ultra MAGA Flori­da gov­er­nor, once a pro­tege of Trump’s, 51% of our respon­dents said they’d vote for Biden, while 39% would vote for DeSan­tis. 10% were not sure.

There are no cer­tain­ties in pol­i­tics, but pun­dits would say it’s a giv­en that Pres­i­dent Joe Biden will car­ry Wash­ing­ton in 2024. The state isn’t expect­ed to be com­pet­i­tive, and this polling sup­ports that view. How­ev­er, who’s at the top of the tick­et mat­ters, and can have an effect on races far down the ballot.

DeSan­tis might not be a boon for Wash­ing­ton Repub­li­cans if he’s the nom­i­nee, but per­haps he would­n’t weigh down the tick­et as much as Trump would.

It’s been said that all pol­i­tics is local and all pol­i­tics is nation­al; it’s also been said in recent years that all pol­i­tics is Trump. And all of those phe­nom­e­na can actu­al­ly be true simul­ta­ne­ous­ly. Our polit­i­cal land­scape abounds with paradoxes!

Here’s the exact text of the ques­tions we asked and the responses:

QUESTION: If the 2024 elec­tion for Pres­i­dent were being held today, would you vote for Demo­c­rat Joe Biden or Repub­li­can Don­ald Trump?

ANSWERS:

  • Joe Biden: 53%
  • Don­ald Trump: 36%
  • Not sure: 11%

QUESTION: If the 2024 elec­tion for Pres­i­dent were being held today, would you vote for Demo­c­rat Joe Biden or Repub­li­can Ron DeSantis?

  • Joe Biden: 51%
  • Ron DeSan­tis: 39%
  • Not sure: 10%

Our sur­vey of 773 like­ly 2024 Wash­ing­ton State vot­ers was in the field from Wednes­day, June 7th through Thurs­day, June 8th, 2023.

The poll uti­lizes a blend­ed method­ol­o­gy, with auto­mat­ed phone calls to land­lines (41%) and online answers from cell phone only respon­dents (59%).

It was con­duct­ed by Pub­lic Pol­i­cy Polling (PPP) for the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute, and has a mar­gin of error of +/- 3.5% at the 95% con­fi­dence interval.

NPI and PPP have worked togeth­er for a decade and have a track record of excel­lence, as detailed in this 2022 elec­toral polling recap and this 2020 one.

The historical record

39% is a smidgeon high­er than where Trump-Pence tick­et per­formed in 2016 and 2020, and 36% is two ticks low­er. In 2016, the Trump-Pence tick­et received 38.07% of the vote in Wash­ing­ton. Four years lat­er, the tick­et’s share of the vote actu­al­ly increased a lit­tle, to 38.77%. If you weren’t aware that that hap­pened, you could be for­giv­en for not know­ing, since the Democ­rats romped to vic­to­ry in Wash­ing­ton in both years, and increased their share of the vote by more — Clin­ton-Kaine got 54.3% of the vote, where­as Biden-Har­ris got 57.97%.

In our final pre­elec­tion poll three years ago, which field­ed in Octo­ber of 2020, we found 60% sup­port for Joe Biden, 37% sup­port for Don­ald Trump, and 2% not sure. We did not include minor par­ty can­di­dates as choic­es in that sur­vey, but they were present as options on the gen­er­al elec­tion bal­lot. The total non-Trump vote end­ed up being 60.57% in Wash­ing­ton, exclud­ing write-ins.

Back when Biden was vying for the Demo­c­ra­t­ic nom­i­na­tion with sev­er­al oth­er hope­fuls, we looked at who might be the strongest oppo­nent for Trump in Wash­ing­ton, and found that Eliz­a­beth War­ren did ever so slight­ly bet­ter than Biden or Bernie Sanders. We released that find­ing in Novem­ber of 2019.

War­ren sus­pend­ed her cam­paign before vot­ing real­ly got under­way in Wash­ing­ton’s Demo­c­ra­t­ic pres­i­den­tial pri­ma­ry. Bernie Sanders stayed in through our pri­ma­ry, but could­n’t quite keep pace with Biden, whose polit­i­cal stock rock­et­ed upwards after his big win in South Car­oli­na and sub­se­quent Super Tues­day dom­i­nance. Biden won the Wash­ing­ton pres­i­den­tial pri­ma­ry with 37.94% of the vote. Sanders received 36.57%, and War­ren received 9.15%.

Wash­ing­ton is slat­ed to hold a pres­i­den­tial pri­ma­ry again next year, in March, and it will mark only the sec­ond time in state his­to­ry that both major par­ties use it for del­e­gate allo­ca­tion, with the cau­cus-only era now in the rearview mirror.

That pres­i­den­tial pri­ma­ry will be an open pri­ma­ry, mean­ing that any­one who wants to affil­i­ate — at least tem­porar­i­ly — with the Repub­li­can Par­ty will be able to par­tic­i­pate by check­ing a box, which means it won’t be restrict­ed to just ultra MAGA par­ti­sans. How­ev­er, they are like­ly to be the biggest vot­ing bloc.

Under Wash­ing­ton State law, the par­ties con­trol whose names appear on the bal­lot, exer­cis­ing their First Amend­ment rights of free assem­bly. It is pos­si­ble that Biden’s name will be the only name on the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty’s bal­lot. The Repub­li­can Par­ty’s bal­lot will prob­a­bly have quite a few names on it.

Insights from our crosstabs

Trump and DeSan­tis per­formed about the same with Repub­li­can vot­ers against Biden in our sur­vey — Trump gets 85% and DeSan­tis gets 84%. Like­wise, Biden got 90% of Demo­c­ra­t­ic vot­ers against Trump, and 89% against DeSantis.

Inter­est­ing­ly, slight­ly more self-iden­ti­fied Repub­li­can vot­ers say they’d cross over to back Biden if Trump was the nom­i­nee — Biden gets 7% of Repub­li­can vot­ers against Trump ver­sus 5% of them against DeSantis.

Where there’s a big­ger dif­fer­ence, and where DeSan­tis has an advan­tage, is with self-iden­ti­fied inde­pen­dent vot­ers. 47% of inde­pen­dents in this poll picked DeSan­tis, while 39% picked Biden, and 13% said they were not sure.

But with Trump as the Repub­li­can option, Biden got a plu­ral­i­ty of the inde­pen­dents. 42% of inde­pen­dents picked Biden with Trump as the oppo­nent. Trump got 39% and 19% said they were not sure.

This was a poll of like­ly gen­er­al elec­tion vot­ers, so we could­n’t look at whether Repub­li­can and Repub­li­can lean­ing vot­ers in Wash­ing­ton State pre­fer Trump to DeSan­tis, or DeSan­tis to Trump, for the par­ty’s pres­i­den­tial nomination.

The crosstabs from our hypo­thet­i­cal matchups sug­gest the Repub­li­can base still likes Trump, but will they like him more than DeSan­tis next spring, espe­cial­ly as Trump goes on tri­al for his crimes? We shall see, pre­sum­ing the Repub­li­can nom­i­na­tion is still being con­test­ed at the time we hold our pres­i­den­tial primary.

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