Is Kshama Sawant’s campaign in trouble?
Jul 17, 2015, 11:07 AM | Updated: Jul 20, 2015, 5:44 am
(Image: EMC Research)
It turns out a lot of people strongly dislike Socialist city councilwoman Kshama Sawant. And if you’re not a fan of her politics or her brand, this may not come as a shock to you.
Does this mean she’s in trouble? Not even close.
New polling from the firm EMC shows that Kshama Sawant has astronomically high unfavorables, in comparison to the others in Seattle city government.
EMC in June did the poll of Seattle voters and asked them to judge a politicians favorability and they used the common stances of “strongly favorable” all the way down to “strongly unfavorable” and even allowed people to say they never even heard of the politician.
Kshama Sawant’s unfavorable came in at 40 percent. When voters were asked the same question in October of last year, her unfavorable numbers were at 30 percent — she grew by 10 percent in less than a year.
In October, her favorable numbers were at 50 percent; but now? They’re at 40 percent. So essentially she had a 10 percent conversion rate of people who liked her to people who really dislike her.
So what’s all this mean? In truth: not a whole lot. Let me explain.
In a population of a little over 650,000, EMC only talked to 400 voters.
That’s a very small sample size. And it’s not just of voters in her district. This is a city-wide poll.
You in Everett who think she’s wrong on all the issues? You in Tumwater who thinks she’s bad for Seattle? You in Bellevue who disagree with everything that comes out of her mouth? You don’t count — at least not in relation to whether or not she’s elected. You don’t get to vote. It won’t impact her political future too much if she stays in local politics.
A good politician will fight for things their constituents support. And I think it’s pretty clear that Capitol Hill progressives and socialists tend to side with her on many of these issues she champions.
All too often, politicians get away with supporting programs and policies that, if it went for a vote in the district they represent, would never get passed. But they do it because most of you don’t pay that close attention to everything being voted on. The same is true on both a local level, a statewide level, and a national level.
For example: For those of you living in Congressman Dave Riechert’s district, how did he vote on HR 2900? If you’re represented by Adam Smith or Denny Heck or Suzan DelBenne, how did they vote on HR2900?
What exactly is HR 2900?
Trick question. They haven’t voted on it yet. But you didn’t know that and even if you did, you would have no idea.
You don’t have time to follow this stuff. You have families and jobs and with the limited free time you have, you’re not really tracking down the voting patterns.
With Kshama Sawant, she’s been pretty damn effective in letting you know where she stands. She’s been incredibly consistent. You can’t dislike her point of view; I disagree with a good 97 percent of her stances. But you know where she stands and how she votes because she’s so vocal about it.
And the more vocal you are, the higher the chance someone will hear you and judge you on those stances. You’re essentially giving people a reason to dislike you. The silent ones? You don’t really have a reason to hate them because you have no idea what they stand for. Who is even running against Sawant? Can you name one? Pamela Banks, and I only know that because I interviewed her once. Who else? She’s got three or four opponents.
Don’t read too much into this poll, folks. It doesn’t mean she’s in danger. It might actually mean she’s doing her job.
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