Referendum 71, which would uphold the state's domestic-partnership bill if approved, is leading in the Seattle area but losing in less populous parts of the state, according to a poll conducted by Survey USA. Of the 548 voters surveyed in Washington, 45 percent said they would certainly approve the measure, 42 percent said they would reject it, and 13 percent were undecided. A few demographic observations on R-71 from the pollsters:
Among men, the measure is rejected by a 4-point margin; among women, it is approved by 12 points — a 16-point gender gap. 72% of Republicans say they will vote to reject; 72% of Democrats say they will vote to approve; independents reject by a 13-point margin. In Metro Seattle, the measure is approved by 18 points; in Eastern Washington, it is rejected by 18 points. Western Washington voters outside of Metro Seattle are more divided, with an 8-point margin voting against the referendum.
The data suggest that strong voter turnout from Metro Seattle residents will make the difference in approving R-71. Those voters support the measure by a 53-to-35 percent margin, and they make up 53 percent of the likely electorate of the entire state. The more who show up, the more likely Washington is to uphold the gay-rights law. A recent poll on R-71 also shows it being approved by a narrow margin.
Tim Eyman's Initiative 1033, which would lower taxes but ultimately devastate government budgets, would pass if voters had to decide today, the poll also shows. Of likely voters in the general election, 45 percent of respondents would certainly vote yes, 32 percent would vote no, and 22 percent were undecided. (A poll released last week by the Eyman campaign showed the initiative leading by nearly 30 points, but today's poll suggests it's leading by only 13 points.)
Here are the demographic notes on today's poll, which was sponsored by KING-TV:
The measure, which would limit spending for state, county and local governments, is backed by 3 of 4 conservatives, 2 of 3 Republicans, and by a 2:1 margin among Independents. Liberals and Democrats are opposed by margins of 2:1. 22% of likely voters are not yet certain how they will vote on I-1033; any outcome remains possible. Typically, opposition to ballot measures builds as Election Day approaches. This is especially true when a ballot measure seeks to spend taxpayer money. In the present case, Initiative 1033 seeks to limit the spending of taxpayer money, so the general rule may or may not apply.
You can read the breakdown of support for the measures based on age, gender, ethnicity, region, and education over here.