Midterm Election

New Poll: More Women Are Voting for Rossi After the Kavanaugh Hearings

Dino Rossi now has a 10-percentage-point lead over Democrat Kim Schrier, according to a new poll released Wednesday.

By Hayat Norimine October 10, 2018

If you expected women to turn the tide for the Eighth Congressional District House race after sexual assault allegations against judge Brett Kavanaugh, you'd be right. 

But if you were expecting that tide to be blue, new polling released by Crosscut on Wednesday begs to differ. 

A Crosscut/Elway poll—conducted by Elway Research, which FiveThirtyEight gave an A+ pollster rating—49 percent of the 400 registered voters surveyed in the district said they planned to vote for Republican Dino Rossi after the Kavanaugh hearings. Democratic candidate Kim Schrier has just 39 percent; 12 percent are undecided.

That's a stark contrast to before the hearings, when the two candidates were battling for votes with a razor-thin margin—a 2 percentage-point difference, according to the poll. The margin of error is 5 percentage points. 

Among women, the contrast is even stronger—52 percent of women are now voting for Rossi, while 36 percent are voting for Schrier. 

"The way the Democrats handled (Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings) was frankly disgusting," Caleb Heimlich, chair of the Washington State Republican Party, told PubliCola. "You have a party that's so bent on obstruction and resistance, and that's not what the voters of the Eighth Congressional District certainly are looking for." 

Schrier's campaign spokesperson Katie Rodihan said the Elway results were "one far outlier poll" and that polls have shown a wide range of results. She said only one candidate can give women what they want, which is affordable health care, reproductive rights, and lower prescription drug costs.

"Dino Rossi has repeatedly shown that he cannot be trusted to stand up for women," Rodihan said by email. "Women will remember his record when casting their votes."

Support for Rossi among male voters, on the other hand, dropped, according to the poll. Before the Kavanaugh hearings, 46 percent of the men surveyed were voting for Rossi, compared to 41 percent for Schrier. Now Schrier is narrowly polling better among men. 

Women made up the majority of the registered voters who participated in the poll, which was conducted between October 4 and October 9. 

Those who identified as independent made up the largest group at 35 percent; 34 percent identified as Republican, while just 28 percent identified as Democrat. 

Rossi's campaign spokesperson Andrew Bell said the campaign will continue to push hard in the next 27 days leading up to the November midterm election. Rossi also has a financial advantage, nearly double the amount raised at $3 million, according to the Federal Elections Commission. Schrier has raised $1.6 million. 

"We are certainly gratified that voters remember that Dino is a fiscal conservative with a social conscience," Bell said by email.

The Eighth Congressional District has long been a Republican stronghold, but the race became wide open when U.S. representative Dave Reichert announced his retirement last year. The Washington State Democratic Party didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. 

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