SEATTLE -- A new poll shows Washington State’s political abyss between east and west---and highlights how the politics of resentment is taking hold.
The Elway Poll looked at both the urban/rural divide in Washington as well as how mutual disrespect of voters on one side of the political spectrum to the other is growing.
The survey found that the partisan divide is actually stronger than the geographic divide. The biggest divide is on guns however the distance found between answer over societal vs. personal responsibility for a person’s well being was also wide.
When it comes to guns:
On the question of racial discrimination:
Assigning blame for poverty:
And when asked about government assistance:
These numbers point to a divide across the “Cascade Curtain.” The Elway Poll found that the GOP was seen favorably in three areas:
In contrast, the Democrats had positive scores across the rest of the state including a large advantage in the suburbs.
There’s also a big “enthusiasm gap” between the districts that voted for Trump, and those who voted for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Right now the President’s favorables are on the plus side only in rural areas. People living in big cities like Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, and Spokane, small cities like Yakima or Kennewick, suburb, and small towns, all have a negative view of the President. Elway says it’s a difficult position for Republicans in the state.
One example may be the 45th Legislative District race where Democrat Manka Dhingra won over 55 percent of the vote over Jinyoung Lee Englund last Tuesday in a special election to replace the late Sen. Andy Hill, a Republican. Dhingra’s vivotory flipped control of the Senate to the Democrats.
The poll points to the positive for Democrats, however, Elway writes that we have a full year until the midterm elections next November. And in politics, 12 months is a long time.