An internal poll released by the Shari Song campaign finds the Democratic newcomer within striking distance of Republican incumbent Reagan Dunn in the race for his King County Council 9th District seat. Dunn, who barely won his own district in losing his high-profile statewide race for Attorney General, leads Song by a 14-point margin in the initial polling. But once respondents hear the Song campaign's messaging, she jumps to a 7-point lead.
The survey of 400 likely voters was conducted September 4 through 9 by Lake Research Partners.
So what does this mean? Well, first of all, Song's own internal polling finds Dunn up by 14 points, so good for him. But 38 percent isn't a great place to be for a two-plus term incumbent, especially one who just came off such a high-profile statewide campaign. There are a lot of voters out there who know Dunn, yet are still undecided. And that leaves open an opportunity for Song.
Second, it is important to understand the purpose of this poll, and why the campaign is releasing it. Lake Research Partners is a well-respected Democratic polling firm. Campaigns aren't interested in deceiving themselves, so there's no reason not to trust these numbers. This is a poll that, amongst other things, was intended to test the effectiveness of negative messaging about Dunn, and positive messaging about Song. The pollsters' conclusion?
If she is effectively able to introduce herself to more of the district and draw a contrast between her new ideas to improve King County District 9 and Dunn’s failed record serving the district, these findings show that Shari Song can be victorious come November.
The whole point of releasing this poll is to get the message out to Democratic donors that Song can beat Dunn if she is given the resources to get her message out. Song is a respectable challenger who is a good fit for the district, while Dunn may never be weaker. So it's up to you, Democratic moneybags, to put up the cash to help Song take out the formerly-predestined Dunn before he can revive his sagging political prospects.