A new poll shows a broad majority of Washington voters want to send Democrats to Congress instead of Republicans.
With the 2018 midterm elections a year out, a broad majority of Washington voters say they want to send Democrats to Congress instead of Republicans, according to a new poll.
Democrats hold a 14-point advantage in a measure of generic voter intent, which means the poll didn’t test specific candidates but asked about which party voters are likely to favor, according to the poll by Stuart Elway, a longtime independent pollster based in Seattle.
The shellacking of the GOP isn’t entirely surprising, Elway says, as national polls show a generic 12-point advantage for Democrats. But he notes the gap is exceptionally broad.
Survey respondents were broken down into 37 geographic and demographic categories such as income, age and gender. Democrats had the advantage in 28 of those categories, including a double-digit lead in 23 of them.
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Republican candidates were favored in Eastern Washington, among rural and small-town residents, and among voters in legislative districts carried by President Donald Trump last year. The GOP also had a 12-point advantage among voters with a high-school education and a 3-point advantage with men.
Democrats swept every other demographic category in the poll, including women by 30 points and suburban voters by 39 points.
So what could this mean for the state’s most watched 2018 congressional contest, the race to succeed retiring Republican Congressman Dave Reichert in the 8th Congressional District? As it stands, it appears that contest will come down to well-known Republican candidate Dino Rossi versus whoever among a pack of lesser-known Democrats survives next year’s primary.
In an email, Elway said the 8th District may remain a challenge for Democrats:
“The D’s have a real opportunity, but as we know, generic party labels don’t run against each other — real people do. They could squander that opportunity with a long, bruising primary fight while Rossi runs alone on the other side. Then the eventual Dem nominee has limited time to become known and mount a campaign against Rossi. So the D would have to rely heavily on the party label (Rossi’s party label especially), and tie Dino to Donald,” he wrote.
The poll of 500 registered voters was conducted Oct. 26-29 using live interviews and has a reported margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percent.
Read the entire poll at Elway’s web site.