A new statewide poll of Washington voters finds Gov. Jay Inslee holding a double-digit lead over Republican challenger Loren Culp, with President Donald Trump trailing even further behind Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
The poll also shows widespread support for the Black Lives Matter movement and reforms to policing, including shifting some duties to social services and harsher punishments for misconduct. But it finds concern with violence at recent Seattle demonstrations.
Inslee, a Democrat seeking a third term, had 53% support, compared with 36% for Culp, the police chief of Republic, Ferry County, according to the poll conducted for KOMO News by the Seattle-based lobbying and public-affairs firm Strategies 360.
Trump lost Washington by 16 percentage points four years ago. Biden leads him by 22 points in the new poll, 58% to 36%. Women back Biden over Trump by a whopping 66% to 23%, a 43-point difference.
The poll of 501 registered voters was conducted from Sept. 8-14 with a mix of landline, cellphone and online interviews. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4%, according to Strategies 360.
Support for Inslee and Trump aligns generally with their approval ratings on dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. The poll found 36% approve of Trump’s handling of the public-health crisis, which has killed 200,000 Americans, compared with 59% for Inslee.
Other findings in the poll:
- The Black Lives Matter movement is rated favorably by 59% of those polled, compared with 39% who view it unfavorably.
- There is support for changes to policing, with 55% backing shifting some responsibilities and functions to social services. That figure was even higher — 70% — in King County.
- 86% of voters expressed support for increased accountability for police, including harsher punishments for those who break rules. The same percentage backs retraining officers to emphasize de-escalation and use of force “only as a last resort;” 57% said they’d back leaving police departments the way they are and giving them more funding “to do their jobs properly.”
- Despite broad support for changes to policing, 50% of those polled deem recent protests in Seattle “more violent than peaceful” with 39% calling them more peaceful.
- Washington’s mail-in voting system is favored by 81% of voters, with 15% disapproving. Despite Trump’s attacks on mail voting nationally, 59% of Republicans polled here approve of the state’s vote-by-mail system.
The poll’s release comes about four weeks ahead of when ballots will be mailed in Washington for the Nov. 3 election.