The Washington Poll from folks at U-Dub shows a potentially tight race for U.S. Senate and support for both a state income tax on high-wage earners and re-asserting a two-thirds supermajority requirement for raising taxes in Olympia.
The statewide poll, conducted May 3-23, has Democratic Sen. Patty Murray at 44 percent and Republican Dino Rossi at 40 percent. Rossi, the Republican candidate for governor in the past two elections, was expected to jump into the Senate campaign on Wednesday. The poll gave Murray a 51 percent job approval rating, considerably higher than the governor or the Democratic-controlled Legislature.
The poll showed the two major parties in a virtual tie in a generic matchup for legislative seats, 39 D, 38 R. Democrats currently have supermajorities in both chambers. Democrats may take some comfort in the poll’s showing of some support for the recently approval budget-and-tax package, 49 percent yes and 45 percent no. The respondents, did, however, say they strongly support a two-thirds approval requirement for higher taxes, a provision that Democrats overturned this session in order to pass the 2010 budget and about $800 million worth of taxes. Jobs and the economy, and not taxes, was the runaway top issue on voters’ minds.
The poll also showed strong support for an income tax proposal for high-wage earners, 58 percent to 30 percent, and for decriminalizing personal use of marijuana, 52 percent to 35 percent. Respondents also concurred 52-37 with the idea of privatizing liquor sales. All three issues are the subject of initiatives now circulating petitions for a possible vote this fall.
The poll also showed strong support (64 percent) for gay marriage or full marriage-like rights without the term marriage being applied. Respondents also agreed 52-42 with a new Arizona crackdown on illegal immigration, but strongly opposed racial profiling. They narrowly favored the new federal health care legislation, 45-41.