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Congressional race in presumed Washington GOP stronghold tightens

WA Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler and challenger Carolyn Long. (Courtesy photos)

The race for Washington state’s 3rd Congressional district may be tightening, as recent polls indicate that the gap between incumbent Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler and Democratic challenger Carolyn Long has drawn closer.

Primary election results may indicate tough competition to come

According to recently-released numbers from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Herrera Beutler and Long have moved into “a statistical tie,” polling at 47% and 45% respectively with 2-point margin of error. That’s consistent with an Oct. 1 poll from GQR Research, which had the candidates at identical percentages.

The DCCC operates as the campaign arm for Democratic races in the House of Representatives, while GQR Research is said to lean Democrat as well. However, the more centrist-leaning Cook Political Report recently shifted its prediction for the WA-03 race from “likely Republican” to “lean Republican,” indicating a possible left-ward move among the rural district’s voters.

Herrera Beutler has represented the 3rd Congressional District since 2011, having served in the state House of Representatives prior to that. Long has been a tenured professor at WSU Vancouver for 25 years.

In 2016, Herrera Beutler won re-election to the District 3 Congressional seat by garnering 61.8% of the vote. She then squared off against Long in 2018, winning 52.7% to 47.3%. In August’s Primary, Herrera Beutler won with 56.2% of voters, followed by Long at 39.7%.

This comes while many long-time incumbents in Washington on both sides of the aisle face similarly tight races in November.

After having served just one term representing Washington’s 8th District, Democrat and incumbent Rep. Kim Schrier pulled in just over 43% of the vote in the August Primary (coincidentally, the same percentage former District 8 challenger Dino Rossi accrued in the Primary before losing to Schrier in 2018’s general election).

MyNorthwest 2020 Voters Guide

The next highest vote total was for Republican Jesse Jensen at 20%. Combined, Republican candidates totaled 49% of the vote.

In the Washington Legislature, state Rep. Frank Chopp — who was first elected in 1995 — faces a stiff challenge from Seattle People’s Party candidate Sherae Lascelles.

Chopp pulled in just under 50% of the vote in the August Primary. Lascelles, who garnered 31% of the Primary vote, has spent much of her career working in the nonprofit sector, having founded the People of Color Sex Worker Outreach Program and the Green Light Project. She’s also endorsed by local activist and former Seattle mayoral candidate Nikkita Oliver.

The third highest vote-getter in the 43rd District Primary was Jessi Murray at just over 18%. That also roughly equals the Primary gap between Chopp and Lascelles.

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