I honestly don't think there's a lot of news in yesterday's KING-5/SurveyUSA poll of Seattle's mayoral race. At 34 percent, undecided is by far the most popular choice in the nine-candidate field. After that, Mayor Mike McGinn and former King County Executive Ron Sims (who has yet to declare) are tied at 15 percent, with Tim Burgess, Ed Murray, Peter Steinbrueck, and Bruce Harrell trailing at ten, nine, seven, and five percent respectively. In other words, it's a wide open field. Not exactly a surprise.
Those numbers wouldn't look so awful for Mayor McGinn if he wasn't the incumbent. But he is. So that's not a strong place to start. But it's not hopeless either. Everybody knew McGinn would face a tough fight for reelection. This poll only confirms it.
But if McGinn's level of support in this poll doesn't surprise you, where he's drawing it from might. At 34 percent, McGinn is by far the first choice of Republicans; Burgess is second with 15 percent. Twenty-seven percent of self-described conservatives also support McGinn, far ahead of Sims and Burgess at ten percent each. Weird.
Dom thinks that McGinn's Republican support may be due to leftover street cred from his fight against the viaduct tunnel, which many on the right viewed as a costly boondoggle. And I wonder if McGinn's stubborn (and I'd argue, misguided) defense of the SPD might also gird his support with law-and-order Republicans?
Speculation aside, while Republicans only account for 12 percent of respondents in the KING-5 poll, it's not unreasonable to imagine their support proving to be the tipping point in a nine-way primary, handing McGinn the edge he needs to get through to November. Again, weird. But not beyond the realm of possibilities.