"No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions." --Thomas Jefferson to John Tyler, 1804.

The UW poll

We’ve held off rolling out poll results for a while, but the new University of Washington poll – its 5.6% margin of error notwithstanding – seems a fair spot to jump back in. It is, after all, an academic rather than a partisan poll. Detailed results and specs are in powerpoint. Of interest here are the numbers developed for presidential and gubernatorial races. It was conducted between the caucuses and primary this month.

In common with polling in a number of other places, this one said that Republican John McCain polls slightly ahead of Democrat Hillary Clinton (48.6%-45.1%) but significantly behind Democrat Barack Obama (40.3%-54.9%). Where came the difference? Well, Clinton and Obama drew equally well among fellow Democrats, but while Clinton got no – literally zero – Republican crossovers, Obama got 9.7% – drawn straight out of McCain’s percentage. He also did better among independents.

In the gubernatorial, this poll showed a wider gap than some other polls in recent months. Most others have given Democratic incumbent Chris Gregoire a small edge, but within the margin of error, over Republican Dino Rossi. This one has a bigger margin for Gregoire – 53.7%-42.1%. What notable here is that the last time the UW polled on this, in October, the Gregoire lead was 42.4%-42.1% – essentially a tie. The change mainly reflected improved Gregoire numbers primarily among independents, and secondarily among her fellow Democrats. Rossi’s numbers remained close to the same from last fall.

We’ll be watching to see if other polling reflects the UW.

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