A new poll conducted by Elway Research in partnership with several Eastern Washington news outlets shows Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R) with a narrow lead over Lisa Brown (D) in the 5th CD race. Poll results indicate a tighter race than in years past.
The poll was conducted last week for The Spokesman-Review, KHQ-TV, the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, the Lewiston Tribune, and Spokane Public Radio.
Overall, the poll shows McMorris Rodgers with a 6-point advantage over Brown. Forty-four percent of those polled plan to vote for McMorris Rodgers compared to 38 percent who say they will vote for Brown. Sixteen percent say they are undecided and 3 percent say they plan to vote for someone else.
The Morning Wire: Keeping you informed on Washington politics, policy, and political economy
The poll itself has a 5-point margin of error, meaning the race might be even tighter than these numbers show. The numbers are a major departure from previous elections in Washington’s 5th Congressional District, where McMorris Rodgers has defeated her Democratic challengers by an average of 22 points since 2004.
Findings from the Cook Political Report, a long time independent congressional campaign tracker, seem to show a similar trend. Last week’s report moved the WA-05 district leftward from “likely Republican” to “lean Republican.”
Broken down by gender, the Elway Poll shows male voters are more likely to favor McMorris Rodgers (51 percent v. 28 percent) while female voters favor Brown (46 percent v. 38 percent). Plans to vote for either candidate fell largely along self-identified party lines. However, those who identified as Independents leaned more Republican with 40 percent choosing McMorris Rodgers and 32 percent choosing Brown.
The poll also broke down the results by age. Younger voters (age 18-35) were more likely to favor Brown, but those in age groups 36 and above leaned toward McMorris Rodgers.
When asked about McMorris Rodgers’ job approval, results were split with 45 percent saying they “strongly approve” or “approve” of her job performance and 45 percent reporting that they “strongly disapprove” or “disapprove.“
Additional polling information and graphics can be found at the Spokesman Review.