The KCTS 9 Washington Poll released its second wave of results today, showing President Obama widening his edge over Republican Mitt Romney to nearly 20 percentage points, while Democrat Jay Inslee is very narrowly ahead of Republican Rob McKenna in the governor’s race.
Among the interesting findings is that independent voters are favoring Obama by 17 points, McKenna by 21 points, while in the attorney general’s race independents favor Democrat Bob Ferguson by 8 points over Republican Reagan Dunn, according to University of Washington associate professor Matt Barreto, who briefed reporters on the poll this morning.
That suggests McKenna’s effort to cut through Obama’s presumed coattails to capture independents and some Democrats is actually working.
Overall, Inslee leads in the governor’s race with 47.2 percent of the vote to 45.5 percent for McKenna among registered voters. The Democrat is up by 48.7 percent to 45.6 percent among likely voters – still within the margin of error.
Among those already voting, Inslee has a 3.5 percent edge.
A new poll by SurveyUSA for KING-5 television also shows the governor’s race is a dead heat with Inslee up by 1 point.
The KCTS 9 UW Poll, which has a record of tracking eventual election results fairly well, is a joint venture of KCTS-9 television and the University of Washington’s Center for Survey Research, led by Barreto, whose expertise is in political science. Barreto spoke to reporters at KCTS-9 studios along with program host Enrique Cerna this morning, and also via teleconference.
He said the poll was carried out during Oct. 18-31 using live calls to 722 registered voters. Of those, 632 were considered likely voters based on their ballot history since 2004. The poll had a margin of error of 3.6 percent among registered voters and 3.9 percent among the smaller sample of likely voters.
Today’s report shows Referendum 74, legally recognizing same-sex marriage, is still on its way to passage, while backers of Initiative 502’s legalization of marijuana have added to their majority support.
Tim Eyman’s tax-control measure, I-1185, saw its support slip but it still has a majority of the likely vote. By contrast, I-1240’s charter schools measure gained support and now registers a majority in favor.
Barreto said it appears the marijuana and charter schools measure are gaining due to effective television ad campaigns.
The poll also found U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell is coasting to a third term – leading Republican Michael Baumgartner by roughly a 60 percent to 40 percent margin, while capturing 63 percent of the votes already cast by survey respondents.
An earlier UW Poll released Oct. 18 showed Inslee with less than a 1 percent edge among likely voters in the governor’s race, well within the margin of error. It also showed R-74 passing by about 6 percentage points once adjustments were made in results for assumed lying by survey respondents.
The new poll made similar adjustments for R-74.
In the governor’s race, the performance of President Obama could have an effect on Inslee’s chances, according to Barreto. He noted that Obama’s momentum has picked up from the earlier poll – which came after Obama’s poor debate performance, and that Inslee is slightly higher than in the Oct. 18 poll.
He said “there could be some small coattails effect we are picking up.”
UPDATED to include additional link to 33-page poll summary and reflect the new name of the poll.