The Politics Blog

Polling shows slip in support for I-517, Eyman’s initiative on initiatives

OlympianOctober 29, 2013 

Tim Eyman with supporter in 2012.

STEPHEN BRASHEAR — The Associated Press / file photo

First an Elway Poll this month showed that support for the Tim Eyman-sponsored Initiative 517 was slipping but still had a majority in support  by a 52 percent to 25 percent margin. The Seattle Times reports that support level is down from 58 percent in favor in September.

On Tuesday, Moore Information, a Republican-aligned polling firm in Portland, issued a poll report that showed only 33 percent of voters in favor of I-517 with 40 percent opposed and 27 percent undecided. The outlook was closer for those who said they had not voted: 35 percent in favor, 37 percent opposed, and 28 percent undecided. 

The survey questioned 500 likely voters on cells and land-lines during Oct. 23-24 and had an error margin of plus or minus 5 percent. 

I-517 provides a 25-foot no-harassment or buffer zone around initiative-signature gatherers; it gives ballot sponsors six extra months to collect signatures; and it assures local initiatives a place on the ballot if they have adequate signatures. Retailers, major business groups and several former statewide office holders oppose it.

Moore’s poll memo – see it here – is headlined: “Washington’s I-517 Looks to Be on Shaky Ground.’’

Although Eyman sponsored the measure, he has stepped aside and is letting others run the campaign. The state Public Disclosure Commission is still looking into whether Eyman and his partners violated campaign finance rules in 2012 by piggybacking I-517 onto a two-thirds tax-vote measure. Jordan Schrader wrote about the allegations last year in this piece. 

The PDC now says it is unlikely to complete its investigation before the Nov. 5 election

Elway reported this month that the I-522 campaign over labeling of foods made using genetically engineering is also closer. Proponents have lost almost all of the 66 percent to 21 percent advantage enjoyed in September and the measure is almost within the margin of error. 

Unlike I-517, the GMO campaign has seen record amounts of money raised in opposition from the food, biotech and agribusiness industries, and voters have been hit by an onslaught of advertising on both sides.

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