Poll finds WA voters favor Democrats, disagree with abortion ruling

A Crosscut/Elway Poll of likely voters in Washington found Democrats leading in Congressional and state races in the general election, with Republicans regaining some of the ground they lost over the spring and early summer.

Republican candidates started the year within single digits of their Democrat rivals. Democrats opened a 20-point lead by July, and in the latest poll released in late-September, their edge was down to 12 points overall.

Pollster Stuart Elway said the tighter outlook “is typical at this time of year as more voters start to focus on the election,” and he noted there could be more changes in the closing weeks of the election. Voting will end Nov. 8.

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, a Democrat, les Republican challenger Tiffany Smiley 50 percent to 37 in the September poll. In other high-profile races, more voters said they intended to vote for the Democrat than the Republican in races for U.S. representative and the Legislature.

In a question to voters that could show an impact on their ballot choices, 58 percent said they disagree with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that overturned the constitutional right to abortion and allowed states to choose how to regulate abortions.

On other topics raised in the poll:

  • 55 percent of Republicans said they would vote for former president Donald Trump if he runs again. Among, 48 percent said they would vote again for President Joe Biden, and 37 percent said they would support another Democrat.
  • In the race for Washington’s secretary of state, who oversees voting statewide, incumbent Steve Hobbs, a Democrat, had a two point lead over non-partisan Julie Anderson, the Pierce County auditor. Forty percent of all surveyed were undecided.
  • 47 percent said they are financially worse off than they were a year ago. Majorities of Republicans, men, people older than 50, and residents of eastern Washington and coastal counties reported doing worse. Democrats, women, people under 50, and residents of King and Pierce counties said they were doing the same or better.

The poll was conducted Sept. 12-15 with 403 “likely” voters, meaning those who voted in at least two of the last four elections held in even years, plus newly registered voters. The polling was done by phone and online. The online participants responded to a texted invitation, Elway said.