Updated at 1:25 p.m. with comment from Mayor McGinn via Times reporter Lynn Thompson.
A new KING 5 poll shows Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn badly trailing challenger Ed Murray in the mayor’s race.
Murray leads with 52 percent support, compared with 30 percent for McGinn, according to the poll of 503 likely voters conducted by SurveyUSA.
John Wyble, a consultant for the McGinn campaign, took issue with the poll, suggesting the mayor was in better shape than it showed. For example, Wyble noted only 10 percent of the poll sample was cell phones versus 90 percent land lines. “I think we are behind but it’s much closer than this poll suggests,” Wyble said in an email.
Asked about the poll at a news conference Monday morning, McGinn downplayed the numbers, saying they don’t reflect his support among communities of color and low-wage workers. “This is why you run races,” McGinn said. “At the end of the day, it will be the voters who make the decision.”
A 22-point lead in the poll is obviously good news for Murray, but his campaign also was quick to express caution.
“While it is great to see numbers like this, and while we do think that Seattle voters are responding positively to Ed’s message of providing effective, collaborative, progressive leadership (as opposed to the current divisive approach from Mayor McGinn), we also anticipate the race to be significantly closer than these numbers would indicate,” said Murray spokesman Sandeep Kaushik in an emailed statement.
Kaushik pointed out a similar KING 5 poll in late October 2009 found businessman Joe Mallahan with a 7-point lead on McGinn, who nevertheless went on to win.
But in 2009, McGinn was relatively unknown to Seattle voters. Four years later, McGinn is much better known, and if this latest poll is any indication, he’s got a steep hill to climb to win re-election.
The poll, conducted Sept. 12-15, had a reported margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percent.