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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 11 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 41
New poll gives Murray commanding lead - Challenger holds 24-point advantage with less than a month to go toward common goals
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New poll gives Murray commanding lead - Challenger holds 24-point advantage with less than a month to go toward common goals

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

A PPP poll released October 8 shows Ed Murray with a commanding 52%-to-28% lead over incumbent Mike McGinn in the race for Seattle Mayor.

The latest numbers correspond closely to a SurveyUSA poll released September 16. That poll showed Murray ahead 52% to 30%. The PPP poll was an in-house survey commissioned by Washington Conservation Voters, which has endorsed Murray. The SurveyUSA poll was commissioned by KING 5 News.

According to PPP, McGinn enjoys a mere 30% job approval rating, down from the 37% that SurveyUSA found last month.

The PPP poll shows Murray leading across all demographics, and seems to refute assumptions about who supports incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn.

YOUTH APPEAL
For example, McGinn is said to enjoy strong support from younger voters, but PPP's crosstabs show otherwise. According to PPP, 60% of likely voters in the 18-29 age group disapprove of McGinn's performance in office - the highest disapproval rating among all age groups in the survey.

Murray, on the other hand, has a 47% favorable rating among the youngest group of voters, as opposed to only 20% unfavorable. When asked who they plan to vote for, this age group breaks heavily for Murray, 53% to 20%.

Because PPP's sample of 18-to-29-year-old voters was small - only 9% of the total sample of 570 likely voters - these numbers may be less accurate then those for other age groups, but there are good reasons for Murray to be more popular than McGinn among young voters.

First, the campaign for marriage equality, with Murray at the center of it, certainly captured the imagination of young voters like no other issue in recent times. Second, McGinn's clash with the federal Justice Department and City Attorney Pete Holmes over court-ordered police reform angered the mayor's more left-leaning supporters. And third, McGinn's failure to deliver on extending bar and nightclub hours was a disappointment both to patrons of those businesses and to many neighborhood activists, who believed the proposal would reduce problems associated with the 2 a.m. 'pushout.'

MINORITIES FAVOR MURRAY?
The new poll also appears to refute the assertion that McGinn is popular among Seattle's communities of color. In fact, Murray beats McGinn in all racial and ethnic categories, with his largest margin being among African American voters.

While both candidates have lined up endorsements from key African American leaders, an astonishing 62% of African Americans surveyed by PPP said they would vote for Murray, as opposed to only 18% for McGinn. While African American voters disapprove of the incumbent 57% to 14%, they view Murray favorably by a margin of 46% to 5%. The only downside for Murray among Black voters is the relatively large number of respondents who were 'not sure' what they thought of him - 49% of the sample.

The number of African Americans surveyed was only 4% of the total sample, however, so the accuracy of results for this group will not be as great as for the survey as a whole.

PPP also showed Murray winning among Asian/Pacific Islanders 59% to 23%, and among Hispanics 45% to 33%.

Gender does not seem to play a big role in this election. Murray takes 52% of both men and women voters, with women expressing slightly more dissatisfaction with McGinn and more favorable attitudes towards Murray than male voters do.

Murray wins substantial majorities of Democratic, Republican, and Independent voters, with Democrats having an especially good opinion of him - a 63% favorable rating against only 13% unfavorable. Democrats disapproved of McGinn, albeit by a narrower margin (43% to 34%).

PPP (Public Policy Polling) surveyed voters over the October 4-6 weekend. Of the 570 Seattle voters who participated, 96% said they were 'very likely' to vote in the mayoral election.

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