That Washington

Underdog Democrat Pridemore Says Polling Has Him Ahead of Party Rival Heck

By Josh Feit May 11, 2010

Liberal in the 3rd Congressional District, State Sen. Craig Pridemore

State Sen. Craig Pridemore (D-49, Vancouver) stopped by PubliCola's offices this afternoon to talk about his underdog run for U.S. Congress.

In the de facto Democratic primary (one Republican and one Democrat are likely to emerge in the top-two primary) Pridemore has to beat Denny Heck. One of the two will likely face Republican Jaime Herrera, a state House Rep, or Republican David Castillo, a financial planner.

Heck, who's raised a half million dollars to Pridemore's $83,000, is a former aide to Governor Booth Gardner, former Democratic state House leader, and the founder of TVW. (Pridemore was quick to point out that $200,000 of Heck's haul is Heck's own money and that Pridemore himself couldn't start raising money until after the state legislature adjourned in mid-April.)

But Pridemore, a liberal who supports a carbon fee to fight global warming, a constitutional amendment that says corporations do not have First Amendment rights, a single-payer health care system—and who marched against the Iraq War—says he has polling that shows he's ahead of Heck.

"We have done one poll," Pridemore says, "and we're encouraged by the results. We are definitely ahead in name recognition, in votes,  in favorability."

Asked if we could see the poll, Pridemore was sheepish, saying he was going to get in trouble with his campaign for talking about it. He did say that it was a robopoll.

This weekend, the Washington State Labor Council is issuing its endorsements for the political season, and Pridemore—who has been an outspoken supporter of the Employee Free Choice Act (a congressional proposal to prevent management from stalling unionization after a majority of employees sign election cards)—seems to have his hopes pinned on getting the nod.

"We're optimistic going in," he says.  "If we land the Washington State Labor Council, I think that [it] will be very clear where the momentum really is."

We'll have video of  our interview with Pridemore (we discussed Afghanistan—he supports the President right now; campaign finance reform, he thinks coroporations control Congress; gun rights, he's a gun rights Democrat; budgets, he says he agrees with the Republican rap on conrolling spending;  education reform, he doesn't like the Obama/Arne Duncan agenda; and campaing strategy) later this week.
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