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McGinn's Left-Right Coalition

By Josh Feit August 26, 2009

Survey USA has a poll on the proposed waterfront tunnel. Forty-nine percent support it and 43 percent oppose it. Seven percent are "Not sure."

The numbers could be bad news for mayoral candidate Mike McGinn, who has made his opposition to the $4.2 billion tunnel the centerpiece of his campaign.

(Even worse for McGinn, the poll also found that only 23 percent of voters wanted to stop the tunnel and go back to square one while 50 percent want to move forward. McGinn could be seen as ditherer and obstructionist who's wedded to endless Seattle process.)

On the flip side: McGinn—a Sierra Club leader—draws his support from Seattle's hippie left, young Capitol Hill urban nerds, and greens.

Given that the groups who—according to the poll results—oppose the tunnel are conservative voters (older voters, Republicans) McGinn may be stitching together a formidable coalition: The Seattle sweet spot that unites liberal idealists  and conservative cranks against the status quo.

And ultimately it's possible the poll doesn't reflect the beliefs of people who actually vote: The poll, according to SurveyUSA news director Ken Alper, was a random sample of adults. Most SurveyUSA polls we've written about before were of people who identify themselves as "likely voters."

Erica contributed to this post.
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