New poll: AG Ferguson has edge in governor’s race over Reichert

May 17, 2024, 4:53 PM | Updated: 4:55 pm

Photo: Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson speaks during a press conference at his office on F...

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson speaks during a press conference at his office on Feb. 9, 2017 in Seattle. (Photo by Stephen Brashear, Getty Images)

(Photo by Stephen Brashear, Getty Images)

A new poll from the left-leaning Northwest Progressive Institute (NPI) has found Attorney General Bob Ferguson has the edge in his bid for Washington governor. The statewide survey found that Democrat Ferguson has widened his lead over GOP frontrunner Dave Reichert.

On May 15 and 16,615 voters were asked who they would vote for in a two-way race if the gubernatorial election was being held that day, according to the NPI’s website.

NPI Executive Director Andrew Villeneuve said 48% voted for Ferguson, 42% for Reichert and 10% were not sure.

According to NPI’s website, this is the second statewide survey Ferguson had the lead.

“After narrowly trailing Reichert back in November of last year, Ferguson jumped out ahead of the former Republican congressman in February, opening up a four-point advantage. Now his lead has increased to six points. Meanwhile, Reichert is holding steady, garnering the same percentage he did back in the winter,” the NPI stated.

2023 coverage: Reichert ahead of Bob Ferguson in governor’s race, poll says

Early numbers suggest Ferguson is in line to win general election

“If he continues on this trajectory, by the summer he might be at or around 50% and that’s what we call the magic number in polling,” Villeneuve said.

Villeneuve said the commotion over the two other Bob Fergusons may have helped AG Ferguson.

“It was a lot of publicity that could have benefited him, just getting his name out there. And also he looked sympathetic, I mean there was an effort to confuse voters and mislead voters which was illegal,” he said.

However, voters had mixed views on Ferguson. Villeneuve said 38% of people surveyed had a favorable view of Ferguson and 39% had an unfavorable view. He also shared those numbers are similar to Reichert’s, as 30% had a favorable view of Reichert and 29% had an unfavorable view.

More here: Both duplicate Bob Fergusons withdraw from governors race

Villeneuve said their poll also found more voters have negative views of two other top candidates, State Sen. Mark Mullet, a Democrat, and Republican Semi Bird.

“Far more people have not heard of them but of those who have they have a negative view of both candidates,” he said.

Republican-backed initiatives polled down

Along with the governor’s race, polling results from a slate of Republican-based initiatives were released for Defend Washington. The results show Brian Heywood, a hedge fund manager who runs voter advocacy group Let’s Go Washington, and State Republican Rep. Jim Walsh’s initiatives concerning education, climate action and long-term care could be on their way to defeat.

Initiative 2109 would repeal an excise tax imposed on the sale or exchange of certain long-term capital assets by people who have annual capital gains over $250,000. However, it would decrease funding for education, early learning and childcare and school construction, as explained by NPI’s website via pollster GBAO. Out of those surveyed, 32% voted yes, 62% voted no and 6% were undecided.

Initiative 2117 would prohibit state agencies from imposing carbon tax credit trading and repeal legislation that establishes a cap and invest program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to NPI. That means funding for transportation programs, renewable energy investments and climate impact resistance projects would be decreased. In that poll, 37% voted yes, 57% said no and 6% went undecided.

From Dave Ross: Initiatives will be the stars of November ballot

Initiative 2124 would make it so employees and self-employed people must elect to keep coverage under RCW50B.04 and could opt-out at any time. It would also repeal a law governing an exemption for employees. Therefore, it would decrease funding for long-term care services. That survey showed 41% people voted yes, 49% of people voted no and 10% were undecided.

“This new round of polling confirms two previous rounds of polling from late last year that show all three of these extreme initiatives trailing badly,” strategist Kurt Fritts said in a statement to NPI on behalf of Defend Washington. “While Brian Heywood and Jim Walsh may be hankering to slash public services, large majorities of voters here value efforts to improve education and early learning, to protect and clean our air and water, and to provide long-term care benefits for millions of workers. They don’t want to see big cuts in funding for these priorities, and when they realize what will happen if these measures pass, they turn decisively against them.”

Villeneuve stated the findings match NPI and Stop Greed polling numbers. However, he also acknowledged that politics is unpredictable so it is impossible to say what will happen in the fall.

Julia Dallas is a content editor at MyNorthwest. You can read her stories here. Follow Julia on X here and email her here.

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