Initiatives on Washington state's ballot this year to legalize same-sex marriage and decriminalize marijuana possession and use enjoy widespread support from voters, according to a new KING 5 News poll.
Fifty-six percent of respondents said they support R-74, the ballot initiative that would affirm the public's support for the same-sex marriage law passed early this year by the legislature. Just 38 percent said they opposed the iniative, with 6 percent saying they were undecided.
The strongest support for R-74 was among women -- 65 percent said they support it, with just 29 percent opposed. Men were split at 47 percent each.
Fifty-eight percent of respondents said they support I-502, the ballot referendum to license and regulate marijuana use in the state, while just 21 percent said they oppose it. Another 21 percent said they were undecided.
The KING 5 poll also suggests broad support for two other initatives -- I-1240, which would authorize the creation of up to 40 public charter schools in the state, and I-1185, the Tim Eyman-backed initiative that would affirm a state law that requires two-thirds majorities in the legislature to approve a tax increase.
Fifty-two percent of respondents said they support the charter schools measure, with 26 percent opposed and another 22 percent undecided. On the tax iniative, 58 percent said they support it, compared to 21 percent opposed and another 21 percent undecided.
Polls measuring sentiment on ballot initiatives taken a month or more before Election Day can often understate opposition. Typically, many of the undecided voters wind up in the “no” column, which could make the tax and charter school races much closer.
The poll also shows U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell with a comfortable lead over her GOP challenger, state Sen. Michael Baumgartner. Cantwell leads with 54 percent support compared to 38 percent for Baumgartner; just 8 percent said they were undecided.
In the state attorney general race, Democrat Bob Ferguson leads Republican Reagan Dunn 42 percent to 33 percent, with 24 percent still undecided.
The survey of 524 likely Washington voters was conducted Sept. 7 to 9 for KING 5 by SurveyUSA. The margin of error was +/- 4.3 percent for all of the iniative questions, except a +/- 4.4 percent margin for the charter schools question. For the Senate and attorney general races, the margin of error was +/- 4.4 percent.