Elections

Poll: GOP’s lone statewide elected official on West Coast may get company

A new poll suggests Republicans have a chance this year to triple the number of statewide elected offices they hold in Washington state — and by extension, across the West Coast.

The poll released Tuesday by independent pollster Stuart Elway shows Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman leading her Democratic opponent, Tina Podlodowski, by an 8-point margin.

In the latest survey, Wyman led Podlodowski 41 percent to 33 percent.

Wyman is currently is the West Coast’s only statewide GOP elected official. But if she wins re-election, that number would at least double, as a Republican is already guaranteed to win election as Washington’s treasurer this November.

Earlier this month, Republicans Michael Waite and Duane Davidson bested three Democrats in Washington’s top-two primary election, making them the only candidates advancing to the general election ballot in the treasurer’s race.

A third statewide win for the GOP could come from the race for commissioner of public lands, where Elway’s poll shows the two remaining candidates are neck and neck.

In that contest, Democratic candidate Hillary Franz narrowly led Republican Steve McLaughlin 33 percent to 32 percent, a gap that falls within the poll’s margin of error.

Republicans haven’t held three statewide elected offices in Washington since 2004, Elway noted.

In other statewide races, Democrats appear to have the advantage, he said.

Democrat Pat McCarthy showed an 8-point advantage over Republican Mark Miloscia in the race for state auditor.

Meanwhile, state Sen. Cyrus Habib, D-Bellevue, led Republican Marty McClendon by 5 points in the race for lieutenant governor.

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, a Democrat, also led Republican challenger Chris Vance by 18 percentage points.

The poll showed the majority of voters — 68 percent — were undecided in the nonpartisan race for superintendent of public instruction, while those who have made up their minds are evenly split between the two candidates left in the race.

The survey found that 16 percent of voters support Erin Jones, a Lacey resident and former school administrator, while 16 percent support state Rep. Chris Reykdal, D-Tumwater.

Elway’s survey of 500 registered voters was conducted Aug. 9-13, and has a margin of error of 4.5 percent.

A similar poll Elway released a day earlier also showed Democrats leading in the races for president and governor in Washington state.

The poll showed Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee maintaining a double-digit lead over Republican Bill Bryant, while Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was ahead of Republican Donald Trump by 19 points.

Neither Inslee nor Clinton had the support of more than 50 percent of voters.

Melissa Santos: 360-357-0209, @melissasantos1

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