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Two New Polls Tell Differing Stories About Seattle Mayor’s Race

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang
Mayor Mike McGinn and State Senator Ed Murray debating at a Ballard Chamber of Commerce luncheon last month

Two new polls in the Seattle mayor’s race show State Senator Ed Murray leading incumbent mayor Mike McGinn.

But the polls,which came out Monday, differ on the extent of Murray’s lead.

Pollsters from Strategies 360, a Seattle-based public relations firm, surveyed 400 likely voters in Seattle in mid-October.

They found Senator Ed Murray leading incumbent McGinn by 17 percentage points. The margin of error was 4.9 percent.

Their findings are similar to the last two published polls in the race, which showed Murray leading by a wide margin.   

But another poll released by KIRO TV concludes that the race is much tighter than that.

KIRO’s poll was conducted by Bernett Research, and it shows Murray ahead by only 4 percentage points. It also found 38 percent of respondents were undecided about the race.

McGinn’s supporters enthusiastically tweeted the results of the KIRO poll. McGinn’s strategist John Wyble said that poll more closely resembles what their own internal polling has found -- that there is less than a 5 percentage point spread separating the two candidates.

Murray’s campaign spokesman Sandeep Kaushik issued a statement questioning the KIRO poll’s methodology and calling it an “outlier.” The poll is outdated because it was conducted in early October, Kaushik said. He maintained Murray still holds a comfortable two-digit lead in the race.

In the Strategies 360 poll, 60 percent of respondents had a favorable view of Murray, compared with 47 percent who viewed McGinn favorably.

The poll found that 73 percent of respondents thought Seattle's economy is in "good shape."

Election day is just over two weeks away. Ballots have to be returned by November 5.

Year started with KUOW: 2005