John Koster leads Suzan DelBene in the 1st congressional district open-seat race, according to the latest KING 5 poll conducted by SurveyUSA.
Koster leads his Democratic opponent in just about every demographic and issue area. Even when voters are asked which candidate would best handle high-tech issues, Koster beat DelBene, a former Microsoft executive.
The poll is certainly good news for Koster, considering our statewide poll finds Obama, Inslee and other Democrats getting a recent bounce. But is the poll measuring political support or name recognition?
Koster has run for Congress twice in the old 2nd District, which includes plenty of areas in the new 1st. And Koster has served as a state Representative and county councilman in the same area. DelBene has run for Congress before, but in the old 8th District, very little of which is in the new 1st.
But there’s stronger case to be made that Koster’s lead is genuine. After all, the 1st District was created in this year’s redistricting process to be a swing district. The rural character of the district could explain the conservative bent of the electorate. And don’t forget: DelBene carpet bombed the district with TV ads in the run-up to the August primary, so name ID shouldn’t be a problem for her.
DelBene, meanwhile, will benefit from a $380,000 ad buy paid for by a campaign PAC backing House Democrats. The ad “pulls back the curtain on the war on women being waged by extremist, Tea Party politicians like John Koster,” according to the PAC’s press release. The spot will run for two weeks.
DelBene had more cash on hand in July than Koster and has personal wealth she can pour into the race. But we may not get a good sense for how Republicans see the race until Oct. 15 when the next finance reports are due.
Trail mix: On the 1st District playing field: The union representing Boeing engineers and technicians recommended that members reject the company’s latest contract offer.
Did you catch The Seattle Times editorial board’s social media campaign Monday on behalf of same-sex marriage? The Times is clearly trying to expand the reach of its editorial page. University of Washington’s Kathy Gill, who studies social media, says it’s a shift from the “passive” editorial to a more “active” engagement of readers. But R-74 opponent Pastor Joe Fuiten doesn’t think on an issue such as this, it will persuade too many readers. “Social media is not necessarily a great novelty,” Fuiten says.
Today on the trail: Jay Inslee and Rob McKenna both speak at the Association of Washington Cities Candidate Forum. Inslee will speak at 9 am and McKenna at 11am. The forum is at the SeaTac Hilton. Also scheduled to speak are the candidates for Attorney General, Reagan Dunn and Bob Ferguson, and the candidates for auditor, James Watkins and Troy Kelley.
Seattle School trouble: A new state audit finds the price of last year’s financial scandal may be $1.3 million more than initially thought. The Times’ Linda Shaw has a breakdown.
Russ Walker is managing editor of king5.com. Michael Cate is producer and Robert Mak is host of KING 5 News Up Front, airing Sundays at 9:30 am on KING-TV.