GOP's Rossi leads with women in 8th -- outlier poll or surprising trend?
Republican Dino Rossi has moved out to a 10-point lead over Democrat Dr. Kim Schrier in the ugly, nasty, costly 8th District race for the seat of retiring GOP Rep. Dave Reichert, according to a new Elway Poll done for the Crosscut news site.
The poll found a sharp trend among women voters toward Rossi, who now leads by 14 points among women, more than double his advantage among men.
The survey runs contrary to two national polls taken this week in the wake of the narrow Senate confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. A CNN survey found Democrats with a 63-33 percent lean among women in a national poll asking voter intentions in November.
Overall, it gave Democrats a 54-41 percent advantage in voter intentions, a margin that has increased three points in the past month.
A national poll by Politico, released Wednesday, found that by a 46-40 percent margin, Americans feel the Senate "made the wrong decision" in approving Kavanaugh's nomination. It found, post-Kavanaugh, that 77 percent of Democrats say they are "very motivated" to turn out and vote, compared with 68 percent of Republicans.
Pollster Stuart Elway, in Crosscut, argued for exactly the opposite conclusion -- at least in the 8th District.
"What appears to have happened here is the Kvanaugh hearings have erased (the Democrats') advantage," he said. "Now it looks like what you would have expected this district to look like before everyone was talking about a blue wave."
The 8th District race is doing more to stimulate the bile than to race the blood of democracy.
Schrier has been treating patients for 17 years as an Issaquah pediatrician. But she has been pounded for weeks by nasty ads from the Congressional Leadership Fund, a Super PAC associated with GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan.
The ads, of questionable truth, have depicted Schrier turning away Medicaid patients, charging that she "got rich" at patients' expense. Lately, they have charged -- falsely -- that she favors a single-payer national health care system.
Dino Rossi has spurned all debates but one -- next week in Ellensburg -- and given a never-varying version of the stump speech he delivered in three previous statewide campaigns. While Ryan's outfit is using scorched-earth tactics, Rossi is reassuring on TV, arguing he can work with both sides to fix a broken Congress.
The Democrats withstood millions of dollars in negative Republican advertising last year, capturing the 45th District State Senate seat that gave them control of the Legislature's upper chamber.
The winner, State Sen. Manka Dhingra, delivered shopworn consultant crafted lines (". . . as a mom") early in the campaign, but found her voice, talked about what she would do in the Legislature, and conveyed a winning authenticity.
Schrier seemed delightful at the start of the campaign, moved to run by Republicans' proposed healthcare rollbacks. Lately, however, she has appeared scripted. She outlasted two other Democrats in the primary, both of whom received the lion's share of late endorsements.
The 8th District contains much of eastern Pierce County, King County suburbs and exurbs, and crosses the Cascades to embrace Kittitas and Chelan counties.
It voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, one of 23 districts across the county that backed Clinton but elected Republicans to Congress.
Elway found that a clear plurality of voters, by a 47-37 percent margin, believe it is "important" or "better" that Republicans keep control of Congress.
By contrast, a new Reuters/Ipsos national poll gives Democrats a 50-38 percent advantage , while an Economist/YouGov poll puts the Dems ahead by six points.
In the Economist/YouGov pull, just 15 percent of those surveyed approved the job that Congress is doing. By a 17-75 percent margin, those surveyed by CNN disapprove of Congress' performance.
The poll by Elway included 400 registered voters and was taken Oct. 5-9. The margin of sampling error is given as plus/minus 5 percent.
The voters, who begin to receive ballots in about a week, will have the final say on who's right. The 8th District race, at the moment, is not uplifting but a multi-million dollar mud fight between party Super PACs.