Here's a poll that should make liberals smile—mostly. SurveyUSA released the results of a KING 5-sponsored poll today that shows voters trending to the left on two huge Washington State ballot measures while increasingly backing the Democratic candidates for governor and attorney general.
1. Most dramatically: The measure to legalize same-sex marriage has taken a leap from only 50 percent support with a seven-point lead in July to a 56 percent support with an 18-point lead today. Today's poll is here and the July poll is here.
My TCW: Progressives would be stupid to take Referendum 74's lead for granted, or underestimate the fear-campaigning expected from religious conservatives to drive down that lead by November. But this poll may mark a gay-rights trend much larger than Washington State: This survey was conducted in the three days following the Democratic National Convention, an event marked by the country's political leaders delivering speeches embracing marriage equality as the keystone of progressive (even mainstream) ideology; the result may be a national climate shift that plays out to make 2012 the first year in US history that same-sex marriage is approved at the ballot. Maine is also voting on marriage equality this year.
2. In more stoned news, support for Initiative 502 to legalize marijuana possession, cultivation, and sales has bumped up to earn the support of 57 percent of voters, up from 55 percent in July. Meanwhile, undecided voters have shrunk from 13 to 9 percent. If anything, it shows the medical-marijuana industry's dishonest campaigning against I-502 appears to have been unnoticed—or proven counter effective—to the general electorate. This bodes well for national groups who may consider dumping more money into I-502 in an effort to make this the first state to legalize marijuana.
3. Hoo boy! Democrat Jay Inslee's lead is reportedly gaining ground in the governor's race against Rob McKenna. Inslee was leading by only 1 percent in July, 42 to 41 percent (after having trailed for months). But now he's got 49 percent support, five points ahead of McKenna. The poll has a 4.4 percent margin of error. Seven percent of voters still say they're undecided.
4. Bob Ferguson, who is running for state attorney general as a Democrat, has apparently broken out of the deadlock with Republican Reagan Dunn. While they were tied at 37 percent in July, now Ferguson leads 42 percent to 33 percent (after Dunn got creamed in the primary election).
But that's where the fun stops, pinkos. Charter schools have a 26-point lead, with the support of 52 percent of voters; that's up from 46 percent support two months ago. Meanwhile, Tim Eyman's appetizing-yet-poisonous biennial attempt to restrict the legislature's ability to raise taxes, this time called Initiative 1185, is leading by a hilariously wide 37 points, with a total of 58 percent of the vote.