The race to flip the southwestern Congressional seat is looking tighter than it did in August.
Just need all those grays over there in the blue and we'll be set. GQR

After trailing by six points in the August primaries, internal polling from the Carolyn Long campaign suggests the Washington State University - Vancouver professor might be closing the gap in her race against five-term Republican incumbent Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler down in Washington's 3rd Congressional District.

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A GQR poll of 400 "likely general election voters" conducted earlier this week shows Long trailing JHB by only two points, which is well within the poll's 4.9% margin of error. Long's net favorables surpass JHB's, with Long at +11 and JHB at +5.

The memo also notes that Trump and Biden basically tie in the district, 47 to 48, with the slight advantage going to Trump.

After the primary, the Long campaign and Democratic strategists said they hoped highlighting the contrast between the two candidates would help tighten the race, and that record turnout would ultimately push Long over the edge. This poll might reflect the success of that strategy.

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A couple caveats to consider. For one, internal polling can favor the candidate paying for the poll. For two, in mid-Oct of 2018 Long's campaign released internal polling from Lake Research Partners showing her running two points ahead of JHB. Long of course ultimately lost the contest in November by nearly six points. Fivethirtyeight ranks Lake Research Partners and GQR about the same—both in the B-range—so we may end up seeing a similar result on election week.

A spokesperson for the Long campaign seems more hopeful. "There's too much at stake this year, and we expect a much higher voter turnout than in 2018. Not only are we voting on the president, the governor, and who will represent Southwest Washington in Congress, we're voting on how we are going to move forward out of this public health and economic crisis," she said. "The president and Congress, including Rep. Herrera Beutler, haven't been able to provide a relief bill to help working families for more than six months. People have noticed—and this poll reflects that."

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