PubliQuestion: Carr vs. Holmes

By Josh Feit July 22, 2009

PubliCola commissioned a poll of general election voters. The question: Who's your pick for Seattle City Attorney, eight-year incumbent Tom Carr or challenger Pete Holmes?

At first glance, the poll doesn't seem to tell us that much: Carr comes out on top by 12 to 7 percent, with a whopping 80 percent undecided.


Pete Holmes vs. Tom Carr

However, we also compared the results to an earlier head-to-head question (by the same pollster) between the two, which polled likely primary voters. (Because Carr and Holmes are the only two candidates for city attorney, they aren't on the primary ballot).  Carr's numbers dropped considerably from primary voters to general voters—indicating that less-informed general election voters (primary voters are political junkies) don't really know who he is.

And that bit of info adds some meaning to our poll results. Why are 80 percent of voters undecided about a longtime incumbent like Carr? The fact that the race is so wide open certainly isn't good news for Carr.

Check out the poll, the comparison with the primary, and the cross tabs (where you can glean tidbits like the only demographic where Holmes beats Carr is among 35-49 year olds) here.

The poll, which has a 4.3 percent margin of error, was done by True Blue Innovation .
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