By Rachel La Corte
OLYMPIA — Incumbent Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee is capturing more than 50 percent of voter support and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has a 17-point lead over Republican Donald Trump in Washington state, according to a new poll released Monday.
The latest survey by independent pollster Stuart Elway shows Clinton’s lead in the state shrunk slightly from the last poll, done in August, when she had a 19-point lead. As Clinton led Trump 48 percent to 31 percent in the October poll, Libertarian Gary Johnson had six percent of the vote and Green Party Candidate Jill Stein garnered just 1 percent. Ten percent of Washington voters said they were undecided, and four percent said they may not vote for president at all, down from Elway’s August survey, when 16 percent were undecided and six percent said they may not vote.
Washington state hasn’t voted for a Republican candidate for president since 1984.
Elway’s survey found that more Democrats have rallied around Clinton than Republicans have around Trump, with 89 percent of Democrats saying they will vote for Clinton, while just 77 percent of Republicans said they planned to vote for Trump. Thirty-two percent of independents said they would vote for Trump, while 31 percent said they would vote for Clinton.
He also found that 45 percent of Clinton supporters wanted to “put her in the White House,” 27 percent said they were voting for her to make sure Trump didn’t win, and 26 percent said those were equally motivating factors. Among Trump supporters, just 29 percent said they were voting to elect him, while 42 percent of Trump supporters said their vote was intended to keep Clinton out of the White House. Twenty-eight percent of Trump supports said they were equally motivated by both factors.
“All of these findings suggest a Democratic Party more unified than their Republican counterparts heading into the last two weeks of the campaign,” Elway wrote.
In the state’s gubernatorial race, Inslee led his Republican challenger, Bill Bryant, 51 percent to 39 percent, with 10 percent of those surveyed undecided. In the race for U.S. Senate, Democratic Sen. Patty Murray was leading Republican challenger Chris Vance 58 percent to 34 percent among voters surveyed, with 8 percent undecided.
Additional down ballot statewide elected offices saw Democrats in the lead on a few of them, but Elway wrote that all of the races “are up for grabs” due to undecided voters and races being within the margin of error.
In the race for lieutenant governor, Democratic Sen. Cyrus Habib led Republican Marty McClendon 38 percent to 37 percent, with 25 percent of voters undecided.
Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman held a slight lead, 41 percent to 37 percent, over her Democratic challenger Tina Podlodowski, with 22 percent of voters undecided.
Democrat Pat McCarthy leads Republican Mark Miloscia 39 percent to 29 percent, with 32 percent of voters undecided in the race for auditor.
In the race for lands commissioner, Democrat Hilary Franz leads Republican Steve McLaughlin 36 percent to 31 percent, with 33 percent of voters undecided.
Democratic Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler held a 44 percent to 28 percent lead over his Republican challenger, Richard Schrock. Twenty-eight percent of voters were undecided on this race.
Two Republicans are vying for the state treasurer position and a whopping 67 percent of voters are still undecided on that race. Duane Davidson garnered 17 percent of the support of those surveyed, and Michael Waite had 16 percent.
The nonpartisan office of Superintendent of Public Instruction also has a majority of undecided voters in the survey: 65 percent. Erin Jones garnered 18 percent, while Chris Reykdal had 17 percent.
Voters surveyed also weighed in on six initiatives on the ballot. Initiative 1501, a battle between a union and think tank over exempting home care workers’ information from public disclosure that is described as a consumer fraud measure, received 72 percent support from those polled, with 9 percent opposed and 20 percent undecided. Initiative 1491, related to court-issued extreme risk protection orders temporarily preventing access to firearms, had 67 percent support, with 18 percent opposing and 15 percent undecided. Initiative 1433, which would incrementally raise the statewide minimum wage to $13.50, had 58 percent support, with 31 percent against and 11 percent undecided. Initiative 735, urging the proposal of a federal constitutional amendment that says free speech in the form of political contributions belongs to people, not corporations, saw 48 percent support, with 18 percent opposed and 33 percent undecided. Initiative 732, related to a carbon tax, had 40 percent in the poll, with 32 percent opposed and 28 percent undecided. Initiative 1464, related to campaign finance reform, had 36 percent support, with 23 percent opposed and 41 percent undecided.
The Elway survey of 502 registered voters was conducted by phone Oct. 20-22. The margin of error was plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.