The Washington Poll is an infrequent, but high quality, poll of Washington state races and issues. A new Washington Poll is out, just this evening.
The poll was sponsored by KCTS-9 and developed and directed by Prof. Matt A. Barreto at the University of Washington. The poll was in the field from Oct 17-24, and had 600 respondents.
Here are some of the highlights.
Initiative 594 (Closing the gun background check loophole)
Overall the initiative has much more support than not. If we include leaners, statewide, I-594 is up 64% Yes to 36% No, with 5.2% not saying. That is a pretty impressive lead.
We shouldn’t be surprised that, in the Puget Sound region, it is up with 73.1% in favor. But what is surprising is that I-594 is up by 56.2% in Eastern Washington, and leads 48.2% Yes to 40.9% No in the rest of the state.
This initiative will pass.
Initiative 591 (Prohibiting Washington state from adopting background check standards)
This one looks remarkably close! Statewide, the initiative is ahead 45.4% Yes to 43.4% No, but with 8.8% undecided.
Supporters of I-594 claim (and some other folks, like Chris Vance) that I-591 was put on the ballot to confuse voters, and it seems to have done so. That is the only reasonable interpretation of the fact that in the Puget Sound region, I-591 is nearly tied at 42.6% in favor and 45.7% against. That is irreconcilable with the Puget Sound I-594 results. With these numbers, it is certain that some people are voting YES on BOTH initiatives, something that makes no logical sense.
Initiative 1351 (Defining K12 class size goals )
This initiative will pass easily with 60.6% support to 31.6% against and 7.9% not saying. This initiative does equally well in all parts of the state.
Here are a few other selected questions:
How would you prefer to see the legislature attempt to reduce the state of Washingtons budget deficit?
The question is misleading, since the state doesn’t really have a budget deficit. But the question gives us a sense of how willing voters are to be taxed.
The top statewide response was (drum roll please): At 29.6%, the top choice was “divided equally between spending cuts and tax increases.”
The next most common response with “spending cuts only” at 22.7% and “mostly with spending cuts” at 22.5%. The answer “mostly tax increases only” got 12.3% support. Overall, almost 77% are willing to have their taxes increased at least a little to better the state’s financial situation.
The entire premise of Sen. Rodney Tom’s Republican coup was that previous initiative outcomes offered him the insight that voters did not want any tax increases.
It seems he was wrong. (Perhaps they simply want the legislature to have the gonads to pass the tax increases rather than making people vote to tax themselves directly.)
Do you agree or disagree with the creation of a state income tax on wealthy households?
Huh…48.3% in favor, 42.0% against. Maybe it is time for another go at an initiative?
Which party do you trust more to make the right decisions and improve economic conditions in Washington state?
Democrats come out on top statewide at 40.9% to 35.2% for Republicans.
Do you agree or disagree that the state legislature should provide more funding to education?
The people are channeling the state Supreme Court: 76.1% agree statewide, and the issue is ahead in all three regions.
Gay and lesbian couples should have the same legal right to marry as straight couples
In Eastern Washington, 60% agree, and the numbers go higher from there.
Undocumented immigrants should be allowed to remain in the U.S. and eventually
All regions of the state agree with this by at least 69%!
A proposal that would raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour in Washington
Statewide, the issue is tied with 48.2% in favor and 47.8% against.
That is just a smattering of the 61 tables in the top-lines for this poll.