SEATTLE – Buoyed by voters’ perception that he would do a better job on a variety of pressing city issues, State Sen. Ed Murray leads incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn by a 17-point margin in a new public poll released Monday by Strategies 360.
Murray led McGinn 51-34 despite respondents’ positive view of the city’s economy; 73 percent of those surveyed said the economy of Seattle was in good shape. However, only 48 percent said things in the city are generally moving in the right direction, while 46 percent had mixed opinions or said the city was on the wrong track.
The starkest difference between the two candidates was in their favorability ratings. Just 12 percent of respondents view Murray unfavorably, while McGinn was viewed unfavorably by 42 percent. By contrast, 60 percent had a favorable impression of Murray compared with 47 percent for McGinn.
“McGinn has done a good job of building a brand around a narrow set of issues. By a wide margin, voters acknowledge that he would be the superior candidate on public and alternative transportation. His challenge is voters are looking for leadership on a much broader set of issues,” said Kevin Ingham, Strategies 360’s vice president of research.
More than twice as many respondents said Murray would better show leadership on issues important to them. They echoed that response when asked specifically about who would do better on the economy and jobs, public safety and police issues, and maintaining and improving the city’s roads, tunnels and bridges.
Voters said McGinn would do a better job on public transportation, bicycling and pedestrian issues, and on environmental and climate change issues.
McGinn and Murray were running roughly even among voters between 18 and 44, but Murray enjoyed a substantial lead among older voters.
Elsewhere in the survey, voters overwhelming support creating a publicly-funded, voluntary preschool program for 3- and 4-year-olds in Seattle, an idea proposed recently in the City Council. They were less decisive about how to pay for such a program, with a majority opposing a property tax increase or cuts to other city services. Nearly 80 percent supported a sliding-fee scale based on parents’ income, and more than 60 percent favored a hybrid of the three sources of money.
The survey is the latest in an occasional series of polls conducted by Strategies 360 in the public interest. None of the firm’s clients paid for the survey, and Strategies 360 is not supporting either candidate. The live telephone survey of 400 likely voters was conducted Oct. 14-16 and has a margin of error of 4.9 percent.
Full top-line results and crosstabs for the survey are available on the Strategies 360 website at http://www.strategies360.com/seattle-poll-results.html.