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New Poll Finds Washington State Often Divided by Region and Political Parties on Many Key Issues

October 27, 2016

Update October 31, 2016 – There were a number of errors in the original poll results, released October 27, 2016. The visuals have been updated to reflect the changes.

Prof. Chris Parker, director of Washington Poll said, "As the principal investigator of the KCTS-9/Crosscut/Washington Poll, I'd like to report that the few typographical errors in the initial post of the poll on Oct. 27, 2016 have been corrected. I hasten to add that the estimates associated with various election races and ballot initiatives were not affected."

These changes did not affect any of the analysis that accompanied the poll. The full list of corrected numbers are listed at the bottom of this page in the Corrections section.

A poll conducted by Washington Poll out of the University of Washington finds that views on the initiatives and candidates of the 2016 election vary based mostly on region and party affiliation. Interviewees of the Puget Sound region were consistently found to lean more liberal than their counterparts in other areas of Washington State. When asked about Initiative 1491, pertaining to firearm restrictions, 78 percent of Puget Sound participants said they would vote yes, with 56 percent of Eastern Washington participants and 63 percent of the participants in the rest of the state responding in the same way. This disparity extends to Initiative 732, instating a carbon tax, and Initiative 1433, which would raise the minimum wage. Surprisingly, when asked about their views on naturalizing immigrants based on a certain list of criteria being met, about a third of all participants strongly agreed (Puget Sound: 32 percent; Eastern WA: 32 percent; Rest of WA: 34 percent).

When it comes to candidates, most interviewees would vote along party lines. Ninety percent of participants said they would vote for their party's candidate for State Governor (Jay Inslee and Bill Bryant), State Senator (Patty Murray and Chris Vance) and presidential candidate (Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump). However, the survey took place between October 6 and 13, so it does not reflect sentiment or sway based on recent controversies surrounding the presidential elections or recent regional debates.

The results of the KCTS 9/Crosscut/Washington Poll are below. Hover over each section of the total bar and pie charts to see the exact percentage. Read more information about the poll methodology here.



1. The boundaries for each region are as follows:

  • Puget Sound = King, Snohomish and Pierce Counties
  • Eastern Washington = Okanogan, Chelan, Douglas, Adams, Spokane, Walla Walla and Yakima Counties
  • Rest of the state = Skagit, Whatcom, Jefferson, Kitsap Clark, Lewis, Thurston and Gray's Harbor Counties

2. Interviewees who initially answered 'Don't know' were pressed to choose a candidate. These answers were included in the 'lean' counts and tabulated to the totals.


In the question “Do you think things here in Washington state are generally going in the right direction, or seriously on the wrong track?“ the correct number for white voters that responded ‘Right Direction’ is 54.4 percent. We originally reported 0.2 percent.

In the question “Do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable, or very unfavorable view of The U.S. Congress in Washington, DC?” the corrected numbers for voters with an education level less that college are – Very Favorable: 3%; Somewhat Favorable: 10%; Somewhat Unfavorable: 30%; Very Unfavorable: 43%; No Opinion: 10%; Never Heard of: 3%; Skipped: 1%. We originally reported – Very Favorable: 0.7%; Somewhat Favorable: 10.1%; Somewhat Unfavorable: 30.8%; Very Unfavorable: 43.4%; No Opinion: 10.3%; Never Heard of: 2.2%; Skipped: 0.4%.

For that same question above corrected numbers for voters with an education level of more than college – Very Favorable: 4%; Somewhat Favorable: 13%; Somewhat Unfavorable: 27%; Very Unfavorable: 52%; No Opinion: 4%; Never Heard of: 0%; Skipped: 0%. We originally reported – Very Favorable: 0.1%; Somewhat Favorable: 12.7%; Somewhat Unfavorable: 26.9%; Very Unfavorable: 51.5%; No Opinion: 4.7%; Never Heard of: 0%; Skipped: 0.4%.

In the question “A recently discussed proposal by Donald Trump to construct a wall to keep ‘illegal immigrants’ out the US.” the corrected numbers for voters with political lean of liberal are – Strongly Agree: 4%; Somewhat Agree: 7%; Somewhat Disagree: 6%; Strongly Disagree: 83%; Skipped: 0%. We originally reported – Strongly Agree: 4.4%; Somewhat Agree: 6.8%; Somewhat Disagree: 82.8%; Strongly Disagree: 26.6%; Skipped: 0.3%.

For that same question above the corrected numbers for voters with a political lean of moderate are – Strongly Agree: 18%; Somewhat Agree: 12%; Somewhat Disagree: 15%; Strongly Disagree: 53%; Skipped: 2%. We originally reported – Strongly Agree: 18.1%; Somewhat Agree: 12.3%; Somewhat Disagree: 52.8%; Strongly Disagree: 47.5%; Skipped: 1.7%.

The corrected numbers, for that same questions above, for voters with a political lean of conservative are – Strongly Agree: 46%; Somewhat Agree: 29%; Somewhat Disagree: 12%; Strongly Disagree: 12%; Skipped: 1%. We originally reported – Strongly Agree: 45.6%; Somewhat Agree: 29%; Somewhat Disagree: 12%; Strongly Disagree: 41.8%; Skipped: 1%.


Between 10/6 and 10/13, YouGov completed 750 interviews in the state of Washington. Respondents were matched to a sampling frame on gender, race, education, ideology and political interest. The sampling frame was constructed by stratified sampling from the full 2010 American Community Survey (ACS) sample with selection within strata by weighted sampling with replacements (using the person weights on the public use file). Data on voter registration status and turnout were matched to this frame using the November 2010 Current Population Survey (CPS). Data on interest in politics and party identification were then matched to this frame from the 2007 Pew Religious Life Survey. These matched cases were then weighted to the sampling frame using propensity scores. The matched cases and the frame were combined, and a logistic regression was estimated for inclusion in the frame. The propensity score function included age, race, gender, years of education, non-identification with a major party and ideology. The propensity scores were grouped into deciles of the estimated propensity score in the frame and post-stratified consistent with these deciles.

Racial composition: White = 83%; Black = 2%; Latino = 4%; Asian = 3%; Others = 8%
Region: Puget Sound = 50%; Eastern Washington = 19%; Rest of the state = 31%
Party identification: Democrat = 35%; Independent = 40%; Republican = 24%; Other = 1%
In the field: October 7-12
Completed interviews: N=750
Margin of error: 4.4%

For questions about the methodology, or content of the poll, please call Christopher Sebastian Parker, Ph.D.: 206.543.2947.


Joseph Liu

Joseph Liu is a hybrid journalist and developer, and uses the internet to tell stories. By using infographics, data visualizations and games, he brings a new dimension to video and text.  Before coming to KCTS 9, Joseph Liu worked at the Pew Research Center and the Washington Post.

More stories by Joseph Liu

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Under right track / wrong track the breakdown for white appears to be incorrect. It totals to 45.8%.

I have only glanced at the others, but that one seemed glaringly wrong.

Registered or likely voters?

In the 'Right Direction / Wrong Direction' chart, the cells for 'Right Direction' under 'Race' have 0.2% for 'White,' which seems like it must be missing a leading digit?

Did the person who did the pie charts have any training in graphic design? How about a table relating the colors to the responses??

Why were there no 3rd Party Candidates as an option in the Presidential Race?

So Cowlitz County is no longer part of Washington?