Wednesday, July 15, 2009

"Hutchison leads in new county exec poll, Constantine second"

Joel Connelly:
As her opponents struggle to get recognized, former KIRO-TV news anchor Susan Hutchison maintains her lead in the race for King County Executive, according to the latest SurveyUSA poll taken for KING 5 news.
Hutchison is at 39 percent, down slightly from her 41 percent showing in a poll three weeks ago.

King County Councilman Dow Constantine is a distant second at 12 percent, unchanged from the previous poll. Constantine picked up two major union endorsements last week, including the Boeing Machinists.

Fellow King County Councilman Larry Phillips scored 8 percent, up one point from last month.

Still far behind, but on the upswing, is State Sen. Fred Jarrett, D-Mercer Island, who has criticized the number of King County employees earning more than $100,000 a year. He has climbed from 4 to 7 percent.

State Rep. Ross Hunter was at 6 percent, unchanged from June. Other candidates collectively took 5 percent.

In a mail-in election, held in a season when Northwest residents tune out politics, the SurveyUSA poll has taken on the status of an oracle.

The election has been fought in debates and endorsement battles before Democratic district organizations, unions and environmental groups.

While TV stations pay for polls, the race for King County's highest office has received little time on the evening news, nor has there been much coverage on the troubled condition of King County government.

One widely told joke is that, to get airtime, a county executive candidate would have to be injured in a bad car crash, be rescued while swimming, or be caught running a puppy mill.

Hutchison has Republican ties in a county that went two-to-one for Barack Obama last year. She has donated to such GOP candidates as 2008 presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee.

But the King County Executive post has become officially non-partisan. Hence, Hutchison is a heavy favorite to prevail in the Aug. 18 primary. Mail-in ballots will be mailed out on July 29.

The quartet of Democratic officeholders - Constantine, Phillips, Jarrett and Hunter - are left to compete for second place, and a spot on the November ballot.
The SurveyUSA poll was conducted July 11 to 13. It contacted a total of 1,350 adults in King County, 504 deemed likely to vote in the primary.
Howie P.S.: Once again our local media (not Joel!) has failed us so we need Goldy to educate the voters about Hutchison, like he did about David Irons.

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