Inslee leads Gov. race, many other state races ‘up for grabs,' pollster says

Extended interview with pollster Stuart Elway

SEATTLE - With less than two weeks to Election Day, longtime Washington pollster Stuart Elway sat down with KING 5 to talk about his latest Elway poll and the takeaways.

  • Elway notes a decrease in Washington voters who identify as Republicans and an increase in Independents, indicating a possible ‘Trump effect.’  

Elway’s poll found 41 percent of respondents indicated they would vote ‘Democrat only,’ compared to 28% who said they would vote for ‘Republican only’ in the eight partisan statewide races, including President.

“For an October poll, that’s the lowest number of Republicans I’ve had since I started doing this poll 20 years ago,” Elway told KING 5.

  • Governor’s race hasn’t moved much in Elway’s polls between incumbent Governor Jay Inslee and his Republican challenger Bill Bryant.

The October poll puts Inslee at 51 percent to Bryant’s 39 percent, with 10 percent still undecided. Each candidate gained three points over the August poll. Inslee won the August primary 49 to Bryant’s 38.

“In that race, I think Bill Bryant has really struggled to move beyond the core Republican base,” Elway told KING 5.

Related: KING 5 profiles on Bill Bryant and Governor Inslee

  • Statewide races down ballot are “up for grabs,” according to Elway.

Elway puts the open seat race for Lt. Governor at a statistical tie. The Secretary of State’s race is also separated by only four points within the margin of error.

The open races and non-partisan races also still have a significant number of undecided voters.

“I think those open seats do make a difference. If you look at ballot and there aren’t names there that you recognize, that’s certainly going to raise the number of independents. I think the highly partisan year, and I think really the apparent lack of attention to the state races this year. Even the governor’s race has not had the kind of attention and engagement we’ve seen in past years,” Elway says.

  • Three initiatives are poised to pass, according to Elway, including I-1501 Consumer Fraud, 1-1491 Extreme Risk Protection and I-1433 Minimum Wage.

“Those three looking historically, if you’re at or near 60 percent with two weeks you’re in pretty good shape,” Elway said.

  • Democrats have the “wind at their backs,” this year, from statewide races to legislative races down ballot, according to Elway.

He found respondents more likely to vote for Democrats for Legislature by a margin of 4 to 3.

Related: Both sides make case for their candidates in competitive legislative races in State Senate and State House.

Need help studying the statewide races? KING 5 has mini-debates

7th Congressional District
Secretary of State
Lands Commissioner
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Auditor
State Treasurer
Lt. Governor
Initiative 732, Carbon Tax
Initiative 1464, Campaign Finance
Sound Transit 3
Initiative 1433, Minimum Wage

Copyright 2016 KING


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