1. Unlike the positive news for Mayor Mike McGinn in the KIRO poll we wrote about in Fizz this morning (well, positive-ish; it shows McGinn trailing challenger Ed Murray by four points with 38 percent undecided, much better than other recent polls), a poll of likely voteres by the local polling firm Strategies 360 found mayoral challenge state Sen. Murray (D-43) leading McGinn 51 to 34, with just 17 percent saying they strongly supported McGinn (compared to 31 percent strongly for Murray).
The poll concludes that Murray is also much more popular than McGinn, with 60 percent reporting a favorable opinion of Murray and just 12 percent viewing him unfavorably. That's compared to 47 favorable, 42 unfavorable for McGinn.
Asked which man would perform better as mayor on a list of ten issues, Murray came out ahead on every issue except two: "Public and alternative transportation for bikers and pedestrians," and climate change and the environment. (The other issues included things like public safety, LGBT rights, and road infrastructure).
2. And in more potential bad polling news for McGinn, the good news he got this morning may not hold up to closer inspection.
The Strategies 360 poll included no one who said they were unlikely to vote, and just 7 percent "probablies," along with 93 percent who said they would "almost certainly" vote.
First, unlike the Strategies 360 poll, the KIRO poll showing Murray leading McGinn 33-29 includes a significant number of people who say they probably won't vote (9 percent) and who say they "probably" will (23 percent).
In contrast: The Strategies 360 poll included no one who said they were unlikely to vote, and just 7 percent "probablies," along with 93 percent who said they would "almost certainly" vote.
Among those who told KIRO they would "definitely" vote, just 29 percent were for McGinn, and 41 percent were for Murray—a 12-point spread for Murray.
Finally, the KIRO poll uses an unusual methodology—"Internet polling"—for a significant portion of the responses. That, Murray campaign Sandeep Kaushik said, "likely is having a major skewing effect as well towards McGinn and towards undecided." Indeed, 38 percent of all respondents said they didn't know how they would vote if the election were held today, compared to 15 percent in the Strategies poll.
McGinn campaign spokesman Aaron Pickus counters that the KIRO poll "does a much better job of capturing younger voters," who are more likely to support McGinn, with 38 percent of respondents between 18 and 34. The Strategies poll included a smaller sample of 18-34-year-olds: 17 percent.
3. Meanwhile, a new Elway Poll shows that support for Initiative 522, which would require labeling of genetically modified foods, has plummeted since September, after a barrage of ads both for and against the measure. However, a larger group of respondents said they would definitely or probably vote "yes" (46 percent) than would definitely or probably vote "no" (42 percent). The rest were undecided.
People who only saw ads for just one side disproportionately favored that position. For example, 73 percent of people who only saw con ads were against the measure compared to 27 percen in support.
The poll of 413 registered voters found that support has dropped since September by 20 points, to 40 percent, and opposition has increased by 21 points, to 61 percent. Most of those polled said (56 percent) said they had seen ads on both sides of the issue; 14 percent had seen only pro-522 ads; and 11 percent had only seen ads against it.
However, the poll (whose margin of error Elway puts at plus or minus five percent) includes a few pretty big caveats. First, the poll was of registered voters, a whopping 40 percent of whom have voted in less than half of the last four elections, as opposed to people who said they were likely to vote. Among "perfect voters" (those who voted in all four of the last four elections), 522 was actually losing, 46 to 44 percent.
Others stats: Younger voters, who are traditionally less likely to vote, supported it strongly (it led 65 to 25 among those under 35). And people who only saw ads for just one side disproportionately favored that position. For example, 75 percent of people who only saw pro-522 ads supported the measure and 17 percent were opposed. Similarly, 73 percent of people who only saw con ads were against the measure compared to 27 percen in support.
If money continues to pour in to the "no" campaign ($17 million raised so far, mostly from big out-of-state companies like PepsiCo, Nestle, and Monsanto), the "no" ads could drown out the lesser-funded ($6 million) "yes" side.
The poll also appears to have oversampled self-identified "independents," who made up 46 percent of the sample, compared to 31 percent Democrats and 23 percent Republicans. Those voters were split 44 to 44 for and against the measure.