Hutchison Ahead in New Poll; Will Speak at "Tea Party"

By Erica C. Barnett September 5, 2009

King County Executive candidate Susan Hutchison currently leads her opponent Dow Constantine 47 to 44 percent, according to a new KING 5/SurveyUSA poll. Ten percent of voters were undecided. Constantine leads by a margin of 3 to 1 among liberals and by a margin of 2 to 1 among Democrats; Hutchison leads 2 to 1 among Republicans, conservatives, and those who are not college graduates. Independents also strongly back Hutchison (by 10 points); college graduates narrowly back Constantine.

In a statement, Constantine spokesman Sandeep Kaushik noted that Hutchison's three-point lead was still within the margin of error for the poll, and chalked it up to "major name ID advantage (and ... more money in the bank)." He added, "We have a lot of work to do to get Dow's message out over the next few months, particularly to the new set of general election voters who did not vote in the primary."

Hutchison—whose description of herself as "nonpartisan" conflicts with her long history of contributions to Republican candidates and the Republican Party—will be speaking at a September 24 "Tea Party" held by a group of Shoreline conservatives. The group invited Hutchison to attend its meeting on August 22, when they plan to protest against health care reform at Northgate Mall, but she was "unable to make it," according to the Shoreline Caucus blog. The Republican Party organized "tea parties" across the country to protest taxes on April 15; now, the tea parties are aimed at President Obama's efforts to reform the US health care system.

Hutchison's spokesman, Jordan McCarren, says Hutchison "has never been to a 'Tea Party' and it was never presented to us as such."

"Susan has a broad base of support among Democrats, Independents and Republicans because her message of new leadership in county government resonates with voters of all political affiliations. The Shoreline group invited us to speak to their organization, just as the 43rd District Democrats did, and we were happy to oblige -- we take advantage of as many opportunities to speak directly to voters as possible," McCarren says.
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