Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"Poll: Mallahan leads in Seattle mayor race" (with video)

KING 5 News with video:
In KING 5's first head-to-head poll between the finalists for Seattle mayor, nearly a quarter of those polled say they don't know who they'll pick on Nov. 3.
The poll, conducted by SurveyUSA, shows T-Mobile executive Joe Mallahan leads community organizer Mike McGinn 41 percent to 36 percent. But 23 percent of the 637 likely voters polled say they haven't made up their minds.

"There's not a lot of information out there voters are still learning about these candidates," said Matt Barreto, Associate Professor in political science at the University of Washington.

"There are still a number of voters out there who don't know anything about these two candidates. They need to take to the airways, do grassroots mobilization, TV, radio, get their name, their picture and their message out," he said.

Neither candidate is getting over 50 percent in any demographic group.

Mallhan has the advantage among those identifying themselves as Asian-Americans, Republicans, conservatives, moderates and voters over 50 years old. He leads by eight points among women, three points among men and nine points among those with incomes higher than $50,000.

Among households making less than $50,000, the two are basically tied.

College graduates give Mallahan an eight-point edge. The candidates are split among non-graduates.

McGinn has the advantage among young voters and liberals.

Barreto suggests that some of those who have picked a candidate now really haven't made up their minds.

"There could be even more undecided voters. Some people don't like to say they're undecided so they pick a candidate. So I would suspect a lot of the support we're seeing right now is soft support," said Barreto.

The survey, conducted Sunday and Monday, has a margin of error of ± 4 percent.

In the August primary, McGinn edged Mallahan by less than one percent as both advanced to the November runoff. Incumbent mayor Greg Nickels finished less than two points behind Mallahan, eliminating him from the general election.

"I'd like to see the candidates really specify the issues and take a hold on an issue that might help them get more support," said Barreto.
So far, it appears that issue may be the waterfront tunnel. McGinn says, if elected, he will try and stop the project. Mallahan says his goal will be to make sure it comes in on time and on budget.

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