While just a single poll, the result is striking evidence that a national blue wave could reach a congressional district that has never sent a Democrat to the U.S. House.
A new poll provides more evidence the race to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Auburn, is truly a toss up.
The New York Times Upshot/Siena College poll, completed Wednesday, found Democrat Kim Schrier with 46 percent support, and Republican Dino Rossi at 45 percent, with 9 percent undecided. The poll of 505 likely voters has a margin of error of 4.6 percent.
While just a single poll, the result is striking evidence that a national blue wave could reach a congressional district that has never sent a Democrat to the U.S. House. In 2016, Reichert won re-election by 20 percentage points, and Rossi has carried the district in each of his three statewide runs for governor and U.S. Senate.
Rossi, a former state senator and real-estate investor well known for three statewide political campaigns, has been regarded as a top Republican recruit who could hang onto the seat, one of about two-dozen that could determine whether Democrats take control of the House.
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Schrier’s campaign said the poll shows the first-time candidate, a pediatrician from Issaquah, is on her way to a victory.
“The NYT poll shows that we have a clear path to flipping this seat. Kim’s message of fixing health care and ending corruption in D.C. is clearly resonating, and we still have significant room to grow,” said Katie Rodihan, Schrier’s spokeswoman, in an email.
Rodihan said Rossi should be nervous as he has near-universal name recognition and misleading Republican TV ads about Schrier’s medical practice “don’t appear to be working.” She added: “We’ve always known this race would be tight. In the end it will come down to enthusiasm and turnout, and that’s where Democrats have the advantage this year.”
Andrew Bell, Rossi’s campaign manager, said the poll doesn’t alter the campaign’s strategy.
“Throughout the race we’ve seen polls that have ranged from a tie to us with a modest lead. We’ve always campaigned as if Dino will be in a close race and nothing has changed in our approach,” Bell said in an email.
Similar to other polls nationally, the New York Times poll found a gender gap in the 8th District race, with Schrier favored over Rossi by women 50 to 40 percent and Rossi leading among men 51 to 42 percent.
The poll was conducted as part of the New York Times experiment in live polling, showing the results in real-time as they flowed in, and mapped across the 8th Congressional District.
It found voters polled split on President Trump, with 48 percent rating him unfavorably versus 45 percent favorably. They also were divided on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, with 45 percent in support and 43 percent opposed.
The poll also found 52 percent support for a government run single-payer national health-insurance system, with 41 percent opposed.
The 8th District runs from east King and Pierce counties across the Cascade Mountains to encompass Chelan and Kittitas counties.
The race to succeed Reichert already has drawn $5.4 million in outside spending — $3.5 million of it from groups supporting Schrier, according to Federal Election Commission filings.