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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

October 24, 2012 at 12:22 PM

New Elway poll shows tight governor’s race, shift among women voters

A new Elway Poll finds Washington’s gubernatorial contest remains tight, but suggests Republicans are doing better with women voters.

The latest survey shows Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna with a two-point lead (47 to 45 percent) over his Democratic opponent Jay Inslee. The poll surveyed 451 “likely voters,” which pollster Stuart Elway defined as people who’ve voted at least once in the past four elections. It has a 4.5 percent margin of error, plus or minus. The poll was conducted Oct. 18-21.

A KCTS 9 University of Washington poll released last week showed Inslee with a 47 to 46 percent lead over McKenna. That poll surveyed 644 likely voters, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percent.

Elway’s poll found a shift among women voters. In September, the poll showed 52 percent of women identified themselves as Democrats and 20 percent as Republicans. This month, 39 percent said they were Democrats and 31 percent said Republican. However, Elway changed his methodology for this poll, surveying only likely voters. Last time, he surveyed registered voters.

There were some other interesting tidbits in the survey. While 58 percent of Inslee’s voters said they considered him to be the better candidate, more of McKenna’s voters, 66 percent, said he was better.

Also, 16 percent of Inslee voters said the main reason to vote for him was their dislike of McKenna. But 11 percent of McKenna voters said the main reason to vote for him was their dislike of Inslee.

In other races:

Attorney General: Democrat Bob Ferguson was leading Republican Reagan Dunn 38 to 36 percent, with 25 percent undecided.

Secretary of State: Democrat Kathleen Drew was tied with Republican Kim Wyman at 34 percent with, with 32 percent undecided.

Auditor: Democrat Troy Kelley was leading Republican James Watkins 34 to 29 percent, with 37 percent undecided.

Lt. Governor: Democrat Brad Owen was leading Republican Bill Finkbeiner 42 to 32 percent, with 26 percent undecided.

All the ballot measures – same sex marriage, marijuana legalization, charter schools and Tim Eyman’s initiative to restate a two-thirds vote requirement for tax increases – were leading. But none of them had support over the 50 percent mark.

Comments | More in Attorney General, Governor, homepage, Marijuana, Politics Northwest | Topics: Bob Ferguson, elway research, James Watkins


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