An Early Poll in the Seattle Mayor’s Race, with one Big Surprise

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One of the Seattle mayoral candidates, Jessyn Farrell, has released results of a poll she commissioned from ALG Research. It focuses on likely primary voters, was done May 10-16, in involved 500 responsents (margin of error: 4.4%). Below are the results, released by Farrell’s campaign, and some commentary.

Bruce Harrell, 23%. This reflects his name familiarity as a city councilmember, his 2013 mayoral campaign,his African-American and Asian-American base, and his pro-business support. Harrell is playing it self, positioning himself as an ethnic politician on good terms with the left electorate. He remains the most likely to survive the August primary, but the figure doesn’t show momentum.

Lorena Gonzalez, 11%. This low score is the big surprise, as Gonzalez has lots of name identification as city council president (also a liability), and wide, but possibly pro-forma labor support. Thought to be a shoo-in for surviving the primary, given her cultivation of many of the elements of the left-labor-ethnic coalition, that prediction is no longer any kind of a sure thing.

Colleen Echohawk and Jessyn Farrell, tied at 7%. Echohawk has raised a lot of money through vouchers and is likely to get significant national Tribal donations. She is positioned as the most likeable of the candidates, but that adds blandness to her liabilities along with inexperience at city hall. Farrell may be the best campaigner (specific programs, candid answers, broadened appeal) of the group, and she is starting to draw differences from the council insiders (Gonzalez, Harrell, Sixkiller) who have failed to solve big problems. She has a green background (transit) and will get environmental voters (one of the four main blocs in Seattle politics, the others being labor, business, and social justice agencies). The question is how much labor support can she carve away from Gonzalez and how well she can court business by her managerial smarts.

Casey Sixkiller, 5%. The name is well known (dad was a star Husky quarterback), but Sixkiller himself got a very late start and he’s been an inside staffer and lobbyist in his career. As deputy mayor to Mayor Durkan, Sixkiller gets points for experience but also demerits by association with the mayor,who is particularly unpopular with the populist left. He might be a fallback choice for businessfolk, if they sour on Harrell.

Andrew Houston, 3%. A queer, black architect, Houston has raked in voucher money and staked out the farthest left positions. Getting an endorsement by The Stranger is remotely possible and would be a big boost. The Stranger, whose endorsement carries a lot of weight in the primary, is said to be miffed that its 2017 endorsement of architect Cary Moon (versus Farrell) helped elect Mayor Durkan. Farrell might expect the Stranger endorsement this time, but it’s a stretch to think the paper can endorse a non-minority (five of the six main contenders are minorities).

Others, 3%

Undecided, 41%

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David Brewster, a founding member of Post Alley, has a long career in publishing, having founded Seattle Weekly, Sasquatch Books, and Crosscut.com. His civic ventures have been Town Hall Seattle and FolioSeattle.

4 COMMENTS

  1. In 2017, the Stranger’s unexpected primary endorsement of Cary Moon was worth 12 points or maybe even a little more. Even if it’s influence has wanted a little bit over the last four years, I would guess the Stranger endorsement is still worth 8-10 points, and that’s probably a conservative estimate.

    In a crowded, fragmented primary field where getting 20 percent of the vote would almost ensure one gets through the primary, in all likelihood the Stranger will essentially pick the left lane candidate.

  2. The author’s continued contempt for Bruce Harrell is obvious, but worse are the unsupported accusations. “Doesn’t show momentum”? Seriously? Harrell has more than double the support of the 2nd place contender, even though he was late getting in the race.

  3. 41% undecided. That is a huge piece of pie to be eaten. I am curious to see how the business community plays in this race, now that the Seattle Chamber has decided to stay away. Also the Compassion Seattle proposal will force candidates to pick a side, and it shows wide support. That left lane is looking crowded & treacherous.

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