The details have yet to be released, but the latest KING-5/Survey USA poll shows Democrat Dow Constantine surging to a 10 point lead over Republican Susan Hutchison in the race for King County Executive.
The poll, conducted over the weekend, shows Constantine leading 53-43; that’s a fifteen point swing from KING-5’s 10/13/09 poll, which showed Hutchison leading 47-42, and is consistent with other public and private polls I’ve seen over the past week and a half. Furthermore, with Constantine leading by 12 points amongst voters who had already cast their ballot, Hutchison would need to carry late voters by a better than 14-point margin in order to win.
What accounts for this stunning reversal of fortune?
Women give a 3-to-2 margin to Constantine over Hutchison. The last poll had the candidates split in that category.
Hutchison has an overwhelming edge among Republicans and conservatives in the non-partisan race, while Constantine leads overwhelmingly among Democrats and liberals.
As it should be. As Democrats in general and women in particular learned more about the candidates, their positions, and their values, traditional Democratic voters came home to Constantine.
That in the end is the fatal flaw in the Rossi-esque tabula rasa strategy Hutchison pursued. Refusing to define yourself can only work if your opponent fails to define you for you.
Update: Here is a link to the current poll results.