Bruce Harrell appears to be leading M. Lorena González in the Seattle mayoral race, though plenty of voters were still making up their minds last week, according to new poll results released Tuesday.
The poll of 617 Seattle residents likely to vote in the Nov. 2 general election was conducted online from Oct. 12 to Oct. 15 by Change Research on behalf of the Northwest Progressive Institute (NPI). Ballots were mailed out on Oct. 13.
The poll had a 4.1% reported margin of error and was not connected with any candidate or political action committee in the city’s races. The demographics were weighted based on the composition of Seattle’s 2017 electorate, NPI executive director Andrew Villeneuve said.
Respondents who initially said they were undecided were asked again to try to make a pick; 48% of respondents ultimately picked Harrell, 32% González and 18% remained undecided (2% said they wouldn’t vote).
Harrell performed better with older respondents and respondents of color, Villeneuve said. The undecided respondents skewed younger, suggesting González could make up ground, Villeneuve said.
González trailed Harrell big on election night in the Aug. 3 primary but closed the gap to under 2 percentage points after later-arriving votes were counted.
González has served on the City Council since 2015; Harrell served from 2008 to 2019. Polls are snapshots that attempt to gauge where voters are headed; the race will continue to evolve until ballots are due.
Asked about the NPI poll, González campaign manager Alex Koren said the campaign’s own poll in mid-September showed the race tied at 45%.
In a Crosscut/Elway poll conducted in early September, 42% of respondents picked Harrell, 27% picked González and 24% were undecided. In a KOMO/Strategies 360 poll conducted in mid-September, 40% picked Harrell, 33% González and 27% were undecided.
The NPI poll may have underestimated support for progressive candidates like González and City Council Position 8 incumbent Teresa Mosqueda, Koren said. In the poll, 39% of respondents ultimately picked Mosqueda, 31% Kenneth Wilson and 26% remained undecided. Mosqueda won 59% in the crowded August primary.
Harrell campaign spokesperson Jamie Housen called the NPI poll results encouraging and reflective of Harrell’s ground game.
For Position 9 on the council, 41% of respondents ultimately chose Sara Nelson, 37% Nikkita Oliver and 21% remained undecided.
For city attorney, 43% of respondents ultimately named Ann Davison, 24% Nicole Thomas-Kennedy and 30% remained undecided.
Ahead of the primary, a similar poll by NPI showed Harrell leading González by 8 points, with many voters unsure. NPI’s primary poll showed incumbent City Attorney Pete Holmes narrowly leading; he was knocked out in the primary. The primary poll showed Mosqueda and Oliver leading big; Mosqueda won her primary easily while Oliver finished just ahead of Nelson.