Visualization of NPI's May 2024 presidential poll finding
Visualization of NPI's May 2024 presidential poll finding (Northwest Progressive Institute)

The Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty’s tick­et for the pres­i­den­cy and vice pres­i­den­cy remains on course to eas­i­ly win Wash­ing­ton in this year’s piv­otal gen­er­al elec­tion, the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute’s spring­time sur­vey of like­ly 2024 Ever­green State vot­ers has found.

55% of 615 like­ly vot­ers sur­veyed last week by Pub­lic Pol­i­cy Polling for the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute say they’d vote to reelect Pres­i­dent Joe Biden if the elec­tion were being held now, while 39% say they’d vote for Biden’s pre­de­ces­sor, Repub­li­can and wannabe auto­crat Don­ald Trump. 7% said they were not sure.

These per­cent­ages are very sim­i­lar to the num­bers from our win­ter sur­vey, which field­ed in Feb­ru­ary. In that poll, Biden received 54% and Trump received 38%, while 8% were unde­cid­ed. The only real change in the last few months has been that the num­ber of vot­ers who weren’t sure has gone down — Biden has gained a point, and Trump has gained a point. Biden’s 55% is a lit­tle less than what he and his run­ning mate Kamala Har­ris received in the 2020 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion — 57.97%. Sim­i­lar­ly, Trump’s 39% is hard­ly dif­fer­ent than the 38.77% he received four years ago. 

These results also line up beau­ti­ful­ly with our April 2024 tri-state poll, con­duct­ed by Civiqs, which encom­passed Ore­gon and Ida­ho as well as Wash­ing­ton. In that sur­vey, Biden received 54% and Trump received 39% in our Wash­ing­ton State sub­sam­ple.

Our poll­sters have a his­to­ry of return­ing results that are cor­re­lat­ed, because they and NPI are com­mit­ted to fol­low­ing the sci­en­tif­ic method. We are unapolo­get­i­cal­ly sub­jec­tive in our advo­ca­cy, but in our research, we are com­mit­ted to objec­tiv­i­ty. As we like to say, you can’t find out what peo­ple think if you’re telling them what to think first.

So far this cycle, we have not asked about oth­er can­di­dates, such as inde­pen­dent Robert F. Kennedy, or the hypo­thet­i­cal nom­i­nees of minor par­ties, but Wash­ing­ton State law does allow for more than two pres­i­den­tial tick­ets to appear on the gen­er­al elec­tion bal­lot, and so we may ask respon­dents if they pre­fer a tick­et oth­er than those of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic and Repub­li­can par­ties in our final polls of the cycle, which will field clos­er to the election. 

The Ever­green State has been a Demo­c­ra­t­ic bas­tion for a rather long time, so these results are total­ly unsur­pris­ing. Wash­ing­ton last vot­ed for a Repub­li­can for Pres­i­dent in the 1980s, when Ronald Rea­gan was run­ning. Since then, it has vot­ed for Democ­rats, often by fair­ly lop­sided mar­gins. Michael Dukakis, Bill Clin­ton, Al Gore, John Ker­ry, Barack Oba­ma, and Hillary Clin­ton all won Wash­ing­ton State, as did the Biden-Har­ris tick­et four years ago. No cred­i­ble polit­i­cal observ­er expects that to change. 

Our staff noticed that an out­fit called the Bullfinch Group recent­ly released the results of a sur­vey of Wash­ing­ton State that pur­ports to show Don­ald Trump ahead by one point in a five-way race. That’s com­plete nonsense. 

Our assess­ment is that Bullfinch’s poll was­n’t con­duct­ed in accor­dance with the sci­en­tif­ic method, which makes the data worth­less. Not only was the sam­ple unrep­re­sen­ta­tive, but it had a mere 250 respon­dents in it. That’s well short of what we’d con­sid­er to be a min­i­mal­ly appro­pri­ate sam­ple size — mean­ing, 400 — for a statewide poll. 

While Wash­ing­ton isn’t a bat­tle­ground state, I like to cus­tom­ar­i­ly point out that this has nev­er stopped us from ask­ing peo­ple who they’re sup­port­ing for Pres­i­dent. It’s use­ful, fas­ci­nat­ing data to have, and we’re glad to be able to share it publicly. 

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

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

ANSWERS:

  • Joe Biden: 55%
  • Don­ald Trump: 39%
  • Not sure: 7%

Our sur­vey of 615 like­ly 2024 Wash­ing­ton State vot­ers was in the field from Wednes­day, May 15th through Thurs­day, May 16th.

The poll uti­lizes a blend­ed method­ol­o­gy, with auto­mat­ed phone calls to land­lines (45%) and online answers from respon­dents recruit­ed by text (55%).

It was con­duct­ed by Pub­lic Pol­i­cy Polling (PPP) for the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute and has a mar­gin of error of +/- 4.0% 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.

Interested in diving into the crosstabs with us?

If you’re inter­est­ed in the crosstabs of our pres­i­den­tial polling — past and present — we invite you to sub­scribe to The Chi­nook Bea­con, NPI’s newest pub­li­ca­tion and The Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate’s youngest sib­ling. The Bea­con, which just launched last week, is a newslet­ter avail­able exclu­sive­ly to pay­ing sub­scribers that pro­vides deep insights from our research as well as com­men­tary on elec­toral and polit­i­cal trends. Sub­scrip­tions cost $20/month or $240/year, and you can also become a Found­ing Mem­ber for $600/year.

We expect to pub­lish new edi­tions of The Bea­con every oth­er week through Novem­ber. After that, the pub­li­ca­tion sched­ule will like­ly go to twice a month.

Stay tuned for more presidential polling!

This sum­mer, just as we did this spring, we’ll check in again and see where the pres­i­den­tial race stands. At that point, the Repub­li­can Nation­al Con­ven­tion will be hap­pen­ing, and the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Con­ven­tion will be around a month away. And sur­pris­ing­ly, Joe Biden and Don­ald Trump may by then even have shared a stage for their first debate of 2024 — they’ve agreed to square off next month in a CNN stu­dio. Stay tuned — we will have more pres­i­den­tial polling to share as the weath­er gets hotter! 

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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