A Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey released on May 21st finds Hillary Clinton with a commanding lead over all potential GOP opponents in Washington State. The survey of 879 registered voters conducted from May 14th to May 17th shows Hillary Clinton defeating every Republican candidate by double-digit margins.
Clinton’s lead ranged from a 10 point edge over both Florida Senator Marco Rubio (49-39) and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson (49-39), to a 15 point advantage over New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (49-34). She also held a double-digit advantage over six other candidates tested. Hillary Clinton led Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and Rick Perry, each by margins ranging from 11 to 13 points.
The last time a Republican presidential candidate carried Washington was when Ronald Reagan won the state in 1984, so it should come as little surprise that Hillary Clinton is ahead of each of the GOP candidates in the Evergreen State. Nevertheless, Washington was competitive as recently as the 2000 election when Al Gore only beat George W. Bush 50-45. In 2004, John Kerry also won the state by an uninspiring single digit margin, 53-46. Barack Obama put the state out of reach in both 2008 and 2012, and Hillary Clinton appears destined to continue the trend of keeping Washington safely blue.
According to the poll, Clinton fares much better than any other Democratic candidate when pitted against the Republican field. For example, she holds a 49-38 advantage over Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. By comparison, her most serious Democratic primary opponent, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, manages only a 35-35 tie with Walker. Much of the disparity may be due to higher name recognition for Hillary Clinton. Nearly half of Washington voters have no opinion of Senator Sanders yet.
Sanders has a positive 26-24 favorable rating from voters who have an opinion, compared to Clinton’s slightly negative 42-49 favorable rating. Both Democrats are much better liked than Jeb Bush, who has a dismal 21-55 favorable rating.
Although Washington is not a highly targeted swing state, Hillary Clinton’s decisive advantage underscores just how firm the Democratic hold on the Pacific Coast states has become. Washington’s 12 Electoral Votes, combined with Oregon’s 7 and California’s 55, gives the Democrats 74 West Coast Electoral Votes that they can almost surely count on in November 2016. Clinton is the strongest Democratic candidate in Washington State. If she secures the Democratic nomination as expected, Washington will be out of reach for the GOP once again.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.