Poll: Majority of Seattleites feel safe in their own neighborhood

Oct 14, 2022, 3:53 PM | Updated: Oct 17, 2022, 8:41 am

Seattle unreinforced masonry buildings...

Seattle's Pioneer Square neighborhood. (Joe Mabel, Wikimedia Commons)

(Joe Mabel, Wikimedia Commons)

A majority of Seattleites feel safe in their neighborhoods, according to a new poll from KOMO News and Strategies 360.

The poll covered a variety of issues, including candidates heading into the Nov. 8 midterm election, but Dave Ross finds the details about safety the most interesting.

More from Ross: Seattle crime rates are the unfortunate focus of campaigns

“They ask how safe you personally feel in Seattle. 54% said they feel safe and 46% said unsafe, and that the safe percentage is down from 2021,” Ross said. “But when they ask about your neighborhood, 81% say they feel safe in their own neighborhood. But that tells me that the reason that a lot of people say they feel unsafe is because of what they’re reading about other neighborhoods. In people’s lives, most of them are feeling safe.”

Ross speculated that a big part of this was how the media portrayed issues like crime, versus what people experience in their day-to-day life.

Public safety and crime are consistently the top issues for Seattleites, and a large part of that is how homelessness is perceived. The polling is no different this year, but the city was pretty split between things getting better or worse.

“So you got 40%, who said things are moving in the right direction, and 48% who said the wrong direction,” said KIRO Newsradio Reporter Hanna Scott. “They asked in both of these polls for folks to say what are the top priorities for you as we head into the midterms, and in Seattle, I think it’s common that we see the top two are always crime and public safety, and then homelessness, right? They kind of go together.”

This is reflected in the new budget proposal from Mayor Bruce Harrell, with an increase in funding for both police and homeless encampment sweeps.

In regards to other political races, the closest is likely the Secretary of State race between incumbent appointee Steve Hobbs and challenger Julie Anderson.

WA Secretary of State stands by integrity of election process

“Based on this poll, and some of the other polling that I’m seeing is going to be the Secretary of State’s race, that is close, very, very close,” Scott said. “20% or so in some polls, they’re undecided still, but Steve Hobbs and Julie Anderson are super close. So you’ve got Steve Hobbs coming in at 35% and Julie Anderson at 36%.”

The other race that you’ve probably seen a few advertisements about is between five-term incumbent Senator Patty Murray and Republican challenger Tiffany Smiley, who had previously challenged polling from the Seattle Times.

“They’ve got Patty Murray coming in at 50% and Tiffany Smiley at 36%,” Scott said. “You know, Tiffany Smiley is making up a little bit of ground since the earlier polling, but still, even with the undecided, there’s not enough for her among likely voters to overcome Murray’s lead. It’s like 8% of likely voters who are undecided still.”

Hanna Scott contributed to this report.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Poll: Majority of Seattleites feel safe in their own neighborhood