Washington Voters: An early poll for the coming election

Almost exactly one year away from the next presidential and gubernatorial

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election, state voters in Washington were recently polled. The results of this poll show that, although most of the state does not think the country is going in a healthy direction, they still favor him above either of the Republican competitors, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry.

Although Washington is a primarily Democrat state, voters are currently leaning towards a Republican governor- Rob McKenna is leading the polls in this election’s closely watched gubernatorial race.

This poll was conducted over the telephone by Strategies 360, a Seattle-based public affairs group founded by Democratic political operative Rob Dotzauer. Though founded by a democrat, the firm employs both Democrats and Republicans in order to remain nonbiased.  The margin of error for this poll was 4.4 percent.

In the 2008 election, Obama won with 58 percent of Washington votes. This election, he is ahead of Perry, governor of Texas, 51-27, and is beating Romney, former governor of Massachusetts, 49-41.

Kevin Ingham, vice president of Strategies 360, said, “The Obama coalition has frayed a bit, but here in Washington, the people who were behind him in 2008 are still mostly with him.”

However, among blue-collar workers, Obama’s popularity has gone down significantly.

Romney comes from a background in business and says frequently that he has personal experience with the economy. He uses his work dealing with the deficit in Massachusetts as evidence that he would be a good president. Perry began as a conservative Democrat, and became Republican after three terms in the Texas House. He talks on his website about his work raising education funding as a point of pride in this election.

Which Republican candidate Obama will face in the 2012 election remains to be seen; Romney and Perry are tying against one another in many state polls.

The Washington poll showed that 49 percent of voters approve of the job Obama is doing as president, though just 23 percent think the country is going in a good direction. Both statistics are higher than the national average.

However, Congress is not looked on with favor here in Washington, with a tiny approval rate of 14 percent. Congressional Republicans were met with 70 percent dissatisfaction, while Congressional Democrats are faced with 59 percent disapproval.

In Washington, the 2012 gubernatorial race is shaping up to be one of the most competitive in the country.  Attorney General McKenna is facing Democratic U.S Senate Representative Jay Inslee, and is currently ahead 46 percent to 39.

If McKenna is elected, he will be the first Republican governor of Washington state in thirty years.

Among independents, McKenna is beating Inslee with an early lead of 46-30. Of his backers, 18 percent supported Obama in the 2008 election.

Ingham says, “You are starting to see that McKenna has the crossover appeal.” He also pointed out that a possible reason or McKenna’s early lead is the name recognition – he has been in public office since 2005, and people know who he is.

Here in Washington, over a year ahead of the coming election, the Strategies 360 poll has confirmed that the state is currently still mostly behind President Obama, and that the gubernatorial race will be one to watch.