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posted Friday, October 14, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 42
Polls: Murray, Inslee heading for re-election, minimum wage and gun controls passing Clinton also way ahead in state
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Polls: Murray, Inslee heading for re-election, minimum wage and gun controls passing Clinton also way ahead in state

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

If a new KOMO News/Strategies 360 poll is accurate, Sen. Patty Murray and Gov. Jay Inslee are headed for re-election, the state's poorest workers will get a raise, mentally ill people will find it harder to buy guns, and Hillary Clinton will get the state's 12 electoral votes.

The telephone poll of 500 likely voters was taken between September 29 and October 3, and was released October 7. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4%.

According to the poll, Democratic incumbent Sen. Patty Murray gets 57% support, compared to only 36% for Republican challenger Chris Vance.

That lines up pretty closely with Murray's high favorable rating. Fifty-seven percent have a positive view of the senator, and only 30% a negative view.

Murray enjoys an advantage across all demographics, even among white men and men over 50, usually considered easy pickups for Republican candidates.

Murray was elected to the US Senate in 1992, pitching herself as 'a mom in tennis shoes,' and has risen to become part of the Democratic leadership team.

Vance, a former state GOP chair, is not as well known to the electorate at large. In fact, the poll finds that nearly half the respondents - 48% - didn't even recognize his name. Another 26% said they'd heard of him but had no opinion of him one way or the other. Twelve percent had a good opinion of him and 8% a negative view.

Murray's re-election campaign also has a huge financial advantage. She has raised nearly $12 million, while Vance has brought in only $310,000. Consequently Murray is buying TV time while Vance is relying largely on social media.

Inslee vs. Bryant
Gov. Jay Inslee also enjoys a big lead over his Republican opponent, former Seattle Port Commissioner Bill Bryant. Fifty percent back Inslee and only 40% support Bryant.

Like Murray, Inslee's numbers correspond with his high favorability ratings. Fifty-one percent of the respondents said they had a good impression of him, against only 31% with a negative one. And, like Murray, Inslee leads across all demographics.

Bryant, on the other hand, resembles his Republican colleague Chris Vance in having limited name recognition. Thirty-two percent said they didn't know him, and another 30% said they'd heard of him but had no opinion of him.

Ballot measures
The poll finds two ballot measures likely to pass in November.

I-1433, which calls for raising the state minimum wage to $13.50 by 2020 and offering workers paid sick and safe days, has 62% support. Eastern Washington voters are more likely to oppose the measure, but voters in King County and Western Washington support it by large margins.

I-1491 gets 79% support in the poll. The initiative seeks to prevent people who are determined by a court to pose a threat to themselves or to others from buying guns.

The poll finds that I-732, which would establish a carbon emissions tax, leads by 42% to 37%. Twenty-one percent are undecided, and pollsters caution that undecided voters historically swing 'No' on ballot measures. I-732 is supported by CarbonWA but not by other environmental groups. The Sierra Club, for example, took a 'Not Support' stand on the issue. It is also opposed by the Washington State Labor Council and a coalition of groups based in communities of color.

Polling from February shows that Seattle's I-124 is also on track to win, although it was not polled in the latest survey. I-124 would protect hotel housekeepers - largely immigrant women and women of color - from sexual harassment as well as establishing legal limits on their daily workloads.

Clinton vs. Trump
The poll found that Hillary Clinton will easily beat Donald Trump in Washington, winning the state's 12 electoral votes.

In a two-way matchup, Clinton beats Trump by 17 points, 50% to 33%. With all four presidential candidates in the poll, Clinton wins by 16 points, with 47% to Trump's 31%. Libertarian Gary Johnson gets 10% and Green Jill Stein has 4%.

Like Murray and Inslee, Clinton wins across all demographics, with a particularly strong showing among voters in the 18-30 age group, 56% to 25% in a two-way race against Trump. When Johnson and Stein are in the mix, Clinton still wins among 18-30 years olds with 50%, compared to 22% for Trump, 20% for Johnson, and 4% for Stein.

Geographically, Eastern Washington is Trump country, but his support there - a 14-point lead - is not enough to overcome Clinton's 44-point lead in King County and 18-point advantage in the rest of Western Washington.

While Clinton struggles with favorability, her ratings are still ahead of Trump's. Forty-nine percent of respondents had a good impression of Clinton, as opposed to only 31% who had a similar view of Trump. Voters under 30 had the most favorable impressions of Clinton and the least favorable of Trump, with 52% of 18-30-year-olds liking her; only 21% liked Trump.

7th Congressional District
A poll released in August showed State Sen. Pramila Jayapal (D-37) leading State Rep. Brady Walkinshaw (D-43) in the race to succeed retiring Rep. Jim McDermott in the 7th District.

The poll, conducted by GBA Strategies and paid for by Jayapal's campaign, showed her leading Walkinshaw by 14 points, 43% to 29%. She also leads by 15 points - 50% to 35% - among voters who are familiar with both candidates.

Jayapal led Walkinshaw across all demographics, even leading among voters who had supported King County Councilmember Joe McDermott in the primary. Although McDermott endorsed Walkinshaw, his voters endorsed Jayapal by a margin of 59% to 21%.

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