U.S. Sen. Patty Murray leads potential Republican challenger Dino Rossi by a somewhat narrow 44 percent to 40 percent margin in a hypothetical match-up measured by The Washington Poll.
And by a 58 percent to 30 percent margin, voters favor an income tax proposal, Initiative 1098, which Bill Gates Sr. and labor groups are seeking to qualify for the November ballot. By a margin of 52 percent to 37 percent, voters also support liquor privatizing, breaking up the state-run monopoly, which is the subject of as many as three initiatives.
The poll, done May 3-23 by a social-research project at the University of Washington, has a track record for accuracy for polls done on the eve of elections; this one is well before ballot line-ups are known. This one also used a fairly large sample, 626 would-be voters in the Senate race and had an error margin of 3.9 percent, according to results released this morning by Matt Barreto, a professor of political science and director of the poll. Larger samples of 1,252 voters were used on policy questions and on questions that found voters narrowly prefer Democrats over Republicans or GOP candidates in legislative races.