Categories: Elections

A majority of Washington voters want Democrats to keep control of the Washington State Legislature in 2025, NPI poll finds

The Wash­ing­ton State Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty appears nice­ly posi­tioned to main­tain its leg­isla­tive majori­ties in the Wash­ing­ton State House and Sen­ate in the com­ing pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, with a major­i­ty of like­ly vot­ers say­ing they’d pre­fer con­tin­ued Demo­c­ra­t­ic gov­er­nance to a Repub­li­can takeover next January.

51% of 789 like­ly 2024 vot­ers sur­veyed ear­li­er this month (Feb­ru­ary 13th-14th) by Pub­lic Pol­i­cy Polling for the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute said they’d pre­fer Demo­c­ra­t­ic majori­ties after the next elec­tion, while 41% said they’d pre­fer Repub­li­can majori­ties. Anoth­er 8% said they were not sure.

It’s the lat­est indi­ca­tion that Repub­li­cans are utter­ly fail­ing to make inroads with Wash­ing­ton vot­ers, despite their fer­vent attempts to exploit the hous­ing cri­sis, the fen­tanyl and sub­stance abuse cri­sis, and the ris­ing cost of living.

If you fol­low the House and Sen­ate Repub­li­can cau­cus accounts on social media, you’ve prob­a­bly noticed they reg­u­lar­ly crit­i­cize Demo­c­ra­t­ic poli­cies — pro­posed or adopt­ed — with hash­tags like “Unwise­WA” or “Unaf­ford­able­WA” or “Unsafe­WA.” Unfor­tu­nate­ly for them, their memes and nar­ra­tives aren’t mov­ing the nee­dle. Wash­ing­ton vot­ers seem most­ly sat­is­fied with Demo­c­ra­t­ic lead­er­ship and want to con­tin­ue along the path the state has been on for anoth­er two years.

This is the sec­ond straight cycle in which we’ve asked Wash­ing­ton vot­ers which par­ty they’d like to see in charge of the Leg­is­la­ture after the next election.

In 2022, we asked this ques­tion three times and con­sis­tent­ly found a lead for Democ­rats. Repub­li­cans ignored or dis­missed our research, but when the midterm elec­tions were cer­ti­fied, our data was vindicated.

Repub­li­cans sud­den­ly found them­selves with few­er seats than before, with their much-hyped “red wave” hav­ing total­ly failed to mate­ri­al­ize. They’re under no oblig­a­tion to take these results seri­ous­ly, but if they think we can’t be right, then they’re set­ting them­selves up for anoth­er Elec­tion Night shock this November.

Here’s the exact ques­tion we asked and the respons­es we received:

QUESTION: Which par­ty would you pre­fer have major­i­ty con­trol over the Wash­ing­ton State House and the Wash­ing­ton State Sen­ate in Olympia after the next elec­tion: the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty or the Repub­li­can Party?

ANSWERS:

  • Would pre­fer Demo­c­ra­t­ic majori­ties in the State House and Sen­ate after the next elec­tion: 51%
  • Would pre­fer Repub­li­can majori­ties: 41%
  • Not sure: 8%

Our sur­vey of 789 like­ly 2024 Wash­ing­ton State vot­ers was in the field from Tues­day, Feb­ru­ary 13th through Wednes­day, Feb­ru­ary 14th, 2024.

The poll uti­lizes a blend­ed method­ol­o­gy, with auto­mat­ed phone calls to land­lines (42%) and online answers from respon­dents recruit­ed by text (58%).

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.

Detailed comparison to our 2022 findings

In the 2021–2022 bien­ni­um, Democ­rats con­trolled 57 House seats and 28 Sen­ate seats. In the 2022 midterms, they gained one House seat and one Sen­ate seat, respec­tive­ly, increas­ing their majori­ties to 58 and 29, with Clyde Shavers’ win in the 10th Dis­trict and Sharon Shew­make’s vic­to­ry in the 42nd District.

Our pre­elec­tion polling at this junc­ture two years ago found only a five point lead for Democ­rats. They weren’t above the fifty per­cent mark, but they did have a lead in our leg­isla­tive con­trol question:

Feb­ru­ary 2022 Responses

  • Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty: 49%
  • Repub­li­can Par­ty: 44%
  • Not sure: 7%

Poll of 700 like­ly Novem­ber 2022 Wash­ing­ton State vot­ers, con­duct­ed Feb­ru­ary 17th-18th, 2022

By June, Democ­rats had expand­ed their lead to nine points:

June 2022 Responses

  • Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty: 51%
  • Repub­li­can Par­ty: 42%
  • Not sure: 7%

Poll of 1,039 like­ly Novem­ber 2022 Wash­ing­ton State vot­ers, con­duct­ed June 1st-2nd, 2022

By Octo­ber, the mar­gin shrunk back to around where it had been in February:

Octo­ber 2022 Responses

  • Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty: 49%
  • Repub­li­can Par­ty: 43%
  • Not sure: 8%

Poll of 782 like­ly Novem­ber 2022 Wash­ing­ton State vot­ers, con­duct­ed Octo­ber 19th-20th, 2022

Again, as men­tioned, Democ­rats went on to do extreme­ly well in leg­isla­tive races in 2022. They held seats that were open (such as in the 47th Dis­trict), reelect­ed their incum­bents, and reduced Repub­li­cans’ num­bers by one in each cham­ber in a year when Repub­li­cans had hoped to flip con­trol of both cham­bers, hav­ing enjoyed an aver­age lead of just six to sev­en points in our polling.

Here, Democ­rats have a ten point lead in our gener­ic leg­isla­tive ques­tion. They have entered dou­ble-dig­it ter­ri­to­ry for the first time.

Repub­li­cans should be very, very, very wor­ried. It’s pos­si­ble they’ll lose even more seats this year, bring­ing Democ­rats clos­er to hav­ing super­ma­jor­i­ty control.

We don’t know what will hap­pen, of course. Mas­ter Yoda put it well in Star Wars Episode II: Impos­si­ble to see, the future is. But the avail­able evi­dence is not encour­ag­ing for the Par­ty of Trump. They’re in a hole and mak­ing it deeper.

The twin cud­gels that Repub­li­cans say Democ­rats used so effec­tive­ly against them in 2022 — Trump and abor­tion — have arguably only got­ten more potent since.

Pre­tend­ing the Dobbs deci­sion isn’t hurt­ing peo­ple and ignor­ing Trump’s fas­cist rhetoric and attacks on democ­ra­cy is not going to help Repub­li­cans improve their odds this year. Rather than get­ting them­selves back on the road to becom­ing a nor­mal or semi-nor­mal polit­i­cal par­ty again, they’ve become even more cult-like. Vot­ers have noticed, and our polling strong­ly sug­gests they’d like to keep Democ­rats at the helm instead of giv­ing Repub­li­cans a chance to govern.

Andrew Villeneuve

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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