New Poll on Governor’s Race: Good News for Bob Ferguson


Attorney General Bob Ferguson has jumped out to a six-point lead over ex-Congressman Dave Reichert in a poll of the two frontrunners for Governor, conducted this week for the Northwest Progressive Institute.

The survey, a sampling of 615 voters, puts Ferguson at 48 percent with Reichert trailing at 42 percent and 10 percent unsure. The survey found Ferguson and Reichert far ahead of two other candidates, Democratic State Sen. Mark Mullet and former Richland school board member Semi Bird.

“This is the closest Bob Ferguson has been to 50 percent – the magic number – in any of our surveys this cycle,” reported Andrew Villeneuve, executive director of the NPI.  A poll last November put Reichert narrowly in the lead while a survey in February had the two frontrunners virtually tied.

The gubernatorial race has already experienced turmoil. The state Republican convention, dominated by MAGA activists, voted to endorse Bird after Reichert took his name out of the running. Mullet, a moderate Democrat, has launched an early TV advertising blitz.

Democrats have held the governor’s office ever since Booth Gardner ousted Republican John Spellman in 1984, the longest one-party streak in the nation. But the last two times the job has come open, in 2004 and 2012, the race has been tight and fiercely fought.

In a four-way race, according to the new PPP poll, Ferguson registers at 35 percent, Reichert at 28 percent, while Bird trails with 11 percent while Mullet barely registers with just 4 percent. A total of 22 percent of likely voters are unsure. Both Bird and Mullet are seeking paths to victory but , in Villeneuve’s words, “neither of them is anywhere close to their rivals.”

A Republican trickster, Glen Morgan, sought last week to register two other gubernatorial candidates named Bob Ferguson in a ploy to confuse voters. Both men withdrew candidacies when learning they faced possible felony charges by staying in the race.

Two West Coast states, Washington and California, have party-free primary elections in which the top two vote gutters move on to the November ballot. Ferguson has run and won three statewide races while Reichert served seven terms in Congress,

 Ferguson scored a string of legal victories over the Trump Administration, starting with overturning its Muslim travel ban. Reichert was the only Republican to hold onto congressional office in the Puget Sound region.  

Joel Connelly
Joel Connelly
I worked for Seattle Post-Intelligencer from 1973 until it ceased print publication in 2009, and from 2009 to 6/30/2020. During that time, I wrote about 9 presidential races, 11 Canadian and British Columbia elections‎, four doomed WPPSS nuclear plants, six Washington wilderness battles, creation of two national Monuments (Hanford Reach and San Juan Islands), a 104 million acre Alaska Lands Act, plus the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area.


  1. First off. You and I have talked more than several times but your way to arrogant to remember me. No worries I still enjoy your perspective.
    The Republican Party endorsed Bird, he stand about the same chance of a Culp. Reichert would have a chance as the only Republican in the race. Kinda shows how stupid and right wing trump induced coma the party is in.
    Reichert always got permission from the Republican Bosses in Congress to vote on the green and environmental issues. Especially when they would fail without his vote. His claim to have solved the Greenriver case is a joke in Law Enforcement. ( my world ).
    Ferguson has pushed a lot of good things. Won great cases for our State. But he also has pissed off many on the Right.
    This will be a fun race to watch.

    • I always enjoy the Comments to Post Alley articles. They’re frequently intelligent, insightful, and food for thought, but Mr. Brand, yours is more on the order of fast food for thought. Please consult Strunk and White before posting again. Thanks.

  2. How unfortunate that Mark Mullet is not getting traction on the road to the Governor’s mansion. He would bring a moderate bent to the conversation. To avoid a Ferguson coronation, the opponent must be able to convey a subtle balance of progressive values and conservative understanding. Reichert’s pro-life record in Congress and support for former POTUS Trump’s convoluted agenda will be his downfall here.

    • With Mark Mullet doing terribly in the polls, maybe he ought to shift to the insurance commissioner’s race, as some of his backers are urging. Mullet’s gambit (pulling together moderates of both parties and running as pro-business) depended in the Republicans fielding a sure-loser crop of candidates, but that ended when Dave Reichert jumped in. It was always a big leap for Mullet, a small businessman, to aspire to the governorship. Take a step back, Mark! Meanwhile, the dominant interests (labor, business, greens, state workers, tribes, lawyers) have once again cleared the field for the leading Democrat, as has been the case for the past 40 years.

  3. You characterization of Glen Morgan not only shows your bias but also your total commitment to the progressive agenda regardless of the serious problems it has caused the people of Washington State.

  4. Muslim travel ban…. Was this really a ban on Muslim people coming to the US, as the left framed it, or was it’s intent actually to prevent all people, regardless of religion, from the 7 targeted countries from getting into the US? And, wasn’t the executive order a result of the incompetence of Immigration officials who had let several known terrorists from these countries (on the watchlist) in? If it were actually intended to be a ban on Muslims why weren’t other predominantly Muslim countries like Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Turkey included?

    Other than to burnish his credentials within the party and win a lot of media coverage, what business did our (supposedly independent) state attorney general have wading into this obviously national political issue? And, isn’t it true that despite Joel’s assertion that Ferguson overturned Trump’s ban, that in fact in June of 2018 the Supreme Court upheld the 3rd version of it? At best, you could say that Ferge and the ACLU won the first round, but not the battle. Right?

    Finally, why keep repeating ‘Trump’s Muslum Travel Ban’ when it is clearly propaganda, however broadly disseminated?

  5. So sad if Bob wins. What a joke he has been in his current job. Uughh. What is wrong with the voters in our state. Bob is more Inslee without backbone. We need a change. A real one ans quick. Please vote for anyone but Bob!

    • Ferguson has done a fine job as AG, and will be a fine Governor.

      And if you think Ferguson has no backbone you’ve most definitely got another think (a thing you apparently don’t do much and/or deeply) coming.

  6. Moderate Democart and tired of “one party control,” especially Seattle metro-progressive control. First choice is Mullet but he won’t make it. Ferguson is a good man and has been a good AG. But he owes the progressives and will – I’m concerned – be Inslee redux’. Today’s vote would be for Reichart.

    • Why I am Voting for Mark Mullet in the August Primary Election
      Voting for State Senator Mark Mullet in the August primary would result in a spirited campaign for Governor in November. Bob Ferguson would surely defeat Republican options for Governor, Dave Reichert Semi Bird. A Mullet vs. Ferguson contest would be best for Washington State. Mullet and Ferguson are eminently qualified. It would be instructive and helpful to hear Mullet and Ferguson debate. Vote Mullet in August! Then, standby for Mullet/Ferguson to go head-to-head.

  7. Mullet can still get through!

    A majority of those polling for Ferguson just want a Democrat, did the poll actually ask why they prefer Ferguson over Mullet? I bet if you listed Ferguson was pro-crime and Mullet was pro-safety he’d be the Front-runner.

    Voters will look this early August just before voting.

    It’s an own-goal by Republicans, if they were united on 1 candidate, the focus would be on Mullet, and many moderate-Democrats and moderate-Republicans would back him to get a Democrat vs Democrat race where Mullet would be guaranteed victory.


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