KOMO poll: Murray has double-digit lead in Senate Race, initiatives have strong support

Sen. Patty Murray (D) (KOMO Photo)

SEATTLE - A KOMO News/Strategies 360 poll shows Democratic incumbent Patty Murray with a 21-point lead over Republican Chris Vance in the race for U.S. Senate.

Senate Race

In this poll of 500 likely voters interviewed statewide, 57% said they would vote for Murray, as opposed to 36% for Vance.

Murray, first elected to the Senate in 1992, maintains a high approval rating with 57% viewing her favorably, and 30% having an unfavorable impression.

As an incumbent, Murray’s re-election campaign has a tremendous financial advantage, raising nearly $12 million according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Murray is buying TV commercials while Vance is relying largely on social media and has reported raising just about $310,000.

Name recognition remains a big challenge for Vance. The former state Republican party chair has a 12% favorability rating, with 8% viewing him unfavorably. In the poll, 26% said they had no opinion of Vance and 48% said they didn’t recognize his name.

Vance disputes the poll results. He says a recent survey by Emerson College has his name ID closer to 40 percent. And he said the race is closer than the KOMO News/Strategies 360 poll suggests.

Ballot initiatives

The KOMO News/Strategies 360 poll finds two polls likely to pass in November. Initiative 1433, which calls for raising the minimum wage statewide to $13.50 by 2020, has 62% support. Eastern Washington voters are more likely to oppose the measure, but voters in King County and Western Washington support it by large margins.

Meanwhile, Initiative 1491 garners 79% support in the poll. The initiative seeks to prevent firearms access by people who are determined by a court to pose a threat to themselves or to others.

The poll finds Initiative 732, which would establish a carbon emission tax, ahead 42% to 37%. However, the initiative may face an uphill battle. In our poll, 21% are undecided on I-732, and historically, most undecided voters tend to swing “no” on ballot measures.

The telephone poll of 500 likely voters was taken Sept. 29 to Oct. 3. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percent.

For more information on the poll, including cross tabulations, go here and here to download them.