KING 5 Poll: TV commercials boost DelBene in 1st District race

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by ROBERT MAK / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on July 27, 2012 at 4:30 AM

Updated Saturday, Nov 2 at 1:57 PM

A new KING 5 poll finds that Democrat Suzan DelBene's TV commercials are apparently having an impact, boosting her numbers by 13 points since our last poll in May.

In a new poll of 563 likely voters in Washington's 1st congressional district, John Koster leads a field of seven candidates with 38 percent support.  As the only Republican in the race, Koster is virtually assured of getting through the top two primary on August 7. 

Delbene comes in second with 17 percent support, while Democrat Darcy Burner claims 13 percent.  Democrats Laura Ruderman and Steve Hobbs get 6 percent and 5 percent respectively, with Democrat Darshan Rauniyar and independent Larry Ishmael both trailing with 2 percent.

The poll, conducted by SurveyUSA, includes responses from likely voters contacted on both landlines and cell phones between July 24 and 25, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.2 percent.

Survey highlights:

A TV campaign:  Delbene is hitting the airwaves hard, spending more than $1 million of her own money in a bid to claim one of the top two spots in the August primary.  While opponents have accused her of trying to buy the race, the new KING 5 poll finds 79 percent of voters said a candidate's wealth is not a factor in deciding who gets their vote for Congress. 

With DelBene’s fundraising advantage, it’s a race that is largely playing out on TV.  Ruderman speaks frequently about doorbelling the district, but only 21 percent of respondents said they have actually met at least one candidate in person; 77 percent said they have met none of the candidates face-to-face.

It's the economy:  In deciding which candidate to support, 55 percent said economic issues are most important, followed by 16 percent who said social issues and 12 percent who said health care.

Favorable/Unfavorable ratings:  As DelBene has sought to introduce herself on TV, she has also accumulated some unfavorable ratings.  About 23 percent of respondents said they have a favorable impression of DelBene, while 25 percent said they have an unfavorable impression.  Burner sits at 19 percent favorable and 29 percent unfavorable.  Meanwhile, Koster enjoys a 28 percent favorable rating and 14 percent unfavorable.

Head-to-head: Looking forward to the November general election, it couldn't be closer.  If the race were between Koster and DelBene, SurveyUSA finds it's a dead heat -- 42 percent each.  It's also effectively a dead heat if it were Koster vs. Burner. 

Telling indicators: In a district that was redrawn to be a swing seat, 36 percent said a member of Congress from a rural part of the district would represent their interests better, while 32 percent said they preferred an urban candidate. 

In the 1st District, President Obama leads Mitt Romney 50 percent to 40 percent, but the gubernatorial contest is effectively tied, with McKenna at 46 percent and Inslee at 44 percent.  Inslee represented a good portion of this district before he resigned to run for governor.  The boundaries have since been redrawn dramatically.
 

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