Politics & Government

Polls show tighter congressional races in 9th, 3rd; results disputed

Republican Dick Muri is within easy shouting distance of Democratic U.S. Rep. Adam Smith of Tacoma in a recent SurveyUSA poll that shows the 9th Congressional District race much closer than the primary vote would have suggested.

And Roll Call is reporting that an internal poll by Democrat Denny Heck's campaign shows he is within the margin of error in his 3rd district race against Republican Jaime Herrera.

http://www.surveyusa.com/client/PollReportEmail.aspx?g=fb34209f-7d7f-401c-af33-0dde4011066e Here is detail from SurveyUSA’s Sept. 17 poll done for King-5 television, and here is Robert Mak's blog post on the results. Said Mak:

In our new KING 5 poll, 49% tell SurveyUSA they support Smith; 46% support Muri. That's within the poll's 4.1% margin of error. This race has not been on the national radar screen, but the district did go Republican in the mid 90s, electing Randy Tate. Noteworthy that Smith has raised more than $600,000 according to the latest federal campaign reports, while Muri has reported raising just about $94,000.

Roll Call's piece on the Heck-Herrera race says the poll was done for the Heck campaign by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, and it noted:

While Heck's poll finds Herrera at 47 percent and Heck at 44 percent, it's an improvement from recent public surveys and past polling conducted for Heck’s campaign. The Greenberg Quinlan Rosner survey of 502 likely voters was taken Sept. 7-9 with a 4.4-point margin of error.

Automated polls conducted by Survey USA found Herrera ahead by 13 points in August and 9 points in September. In June, a GQR poll conducted for Heck found him behind by 7 points.As the polling memo points out, Heck's positive movement occurred as outside conservative groups, including American Future Fund and Americans for Prosperity, have dropped hundreds of thousands of dollars in TV ads against him.

The recent SurveyUSA polling showed Herrera was up by a 52-43 percent margin – with Herrera slipping by 2 percentage points and Heck gaining by 2 percentage points from the SurveyUSA poll taken shortly after the Aug. 17 primary – at a time the hard-right group Americans for Prosperity was running ads linking Heck to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's agenda.

Heck led five other primary candidates in the 3rd with about 31.4 percent of the vote to Herrera’s 27.8 percent – but the three Republicans had more than 52 percent of the total votes.

Smith led three other primary candidates in the 9th with more than 51.2 percent of the vote to 25.8 percent for Muri and 19.7 percent for Republican James Postma. Green Party candidate Roy Olson had 3.3 percent.

Democrats now hold six of Washington's nine congressional seats. But other polling has showed Republican U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert ahead in the 8th district and Republican challenger John Koster of Snohomish County leading U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen in the 2nd.

Muri's campaign put out a news release that quoted former U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton as saying:

"Washington State now has three seats in the U.S. House that can realistically be moved from Democrat to Republican."

Greg Blair of the National Republican Congressional Committee said of Smith:

“When Adam Smith voted for reckless legislation like the Obama-Pelosi healthcare bill and the failed ‘stimulus’ program, he sent a message to Washington voters that he cared more about partisan spending sprees than fixing our broken economy. Smith’s record of supporting the unpopular Democrat agenda 96.6 percent of the time means that he’s part of the problem in Washington, D.C.”

UPDATE on original 9:19 a.m. post:Matt Perry of Rep. Smith’s campaign took issue with the SurveyUSA poll, saying this in an email:

The poll is completely inaccurate. It is just an effort to make the race look more interesting than it is. Before the primary a similar quick and cheap automated poll showed Smith at 30 and Muri at 28. After the actual vote, the results were unequivocal - 51 for Smith and 26 for Muri. Additionally, in 1996 a similar poll had Smith down by 16 points just one week before the general election that he won 50 to 47. This latest poll is equally unreliable and meaningless. Once again, in November the people will have their say and this poll will be long forgotten.