A few days ago, I analyzed a match-up between Washington state Gov. Christine Gregoire and Dino Rossi. The analysis, using the most recent polling data, offered that:
…if the election were held today, we would expect Gregoire to have about a 97% chance of winning the election.
Today, SurveyUSA released the result of a new Washington state poll on Gregoire’s approval. The poll of 600 adults gives Gregoire a 51% approval versus a 44% disapproval, and 5% who are unsure.
Gregoire does best in the Seattle metropolitan region with 54% approval to 43% disapproval. But even in Eastern Washington, she has a positive spread: 49% who approve to 45% who disapprove.
Fully 75% of Democrats approve of the Governor, but one out of three Republicans also approve of her performance. One seemingly concerning finding is among “independents:” 38% approve and 57% disapprove. But consider this: only 27% of those polled identified as a Republican, whereas 30% said “independent,” and 38% identified as a Democrat. It’s a safe bet that the “independent” category is inflated by a number of right-leaning folks who are ashamed to call themselves a Republican.
After a highly contentious, close election, followed by a multi-million dollar Republican dis-information campaign (a.k.a. the election contest), Gregoire’s approval–disapproval spread started out strongly negative, and remained in negative territory for her first year in office. Then, after a 6 months period of nearly even approval (Jan 2006 until June 2006), Gregoire emerged, permanently, from negative territory. For the past 20 months, her approval has remained relatively stable, averaging 51% approval to 44% disapproval.
To summarize, Gregoire’s approval numbers are stable, in the right direction, and typically over 50%. In recent head-to-head polls against Rossi, Gregoire is always coming out on top.
The take-home message: Gregoire’s reelection campaign is starting out in a position of strength.
(Cross posted at Hominid Views.)