Is Mike McGinn Kicking a Low Ceiling? Poll Says Tunnel More Popular Than Unpopular

Updated with McGinn response below Last year, I profiled the remarkable skills of a man named Brandon Ehrlich, who, in his frustration over the Sonics departure, and displaying remarkable agility, perseverance, and drive, kicked ceilings. They said it couldn't be done, he noted, but he went ahead and did it anyway. Though when I saw him the other day, he confessed that it was a low ceiling.

Which brings us to Mike McGinn, who was surely told that he couldn't make the general election on a shoestring budget, with opposition to the deep-bore tunnel as his primary, if not sole, focus. But, displaying remarkable agility, perseverance, and drive, McGinn went ahead and did it anyway, coming in first in the primary despite being outspent by four candidates.

But now a new poll is out showing that the tunnel is actually supported by more people than oppose it, 49% to 43%, meaning McGinn, like Ehrlich, may be kicking a low ceiling. 7% of those surveyed remain undecided, and of course there's the possibility that he could sway some of the supporters with his arguments (or pull people in on other issues), but his campaign can't be too thrilled with these numbers.

One interesting development in the poll breakdown: The biggest opponents to the tunnel are Republicans, confirming the possibility of a sort of green/Eymanite alliance, wherein density advocates and big-car-driving small-government folks converge behind a former corporate lawyer and Sierra Club head who relies on an army of volunteers. (It's a little like Ron Paul's combo of marijuana advocates, Iraq War opponents, and Federal Reserve-bashers.)

Whatever comes of it, it's a fascinating development in Seattle democracy--more interesting on a political allegiances level than would have been the once-predicted Nickels/Drago race. And, of course, things could get even wackier if Ed Murray decides to run as a write-in. (Would he split the pro-tunnel vote? Steal away more gay-rights voters from one candidate than another?) It could shape up to be the best electoral free-for-all since the 2003 California recall, when Arianna Huffington, Arnold Schwarzenagger, Gary Coleman, Larry Flynt, and others competed for the office of governor. Maybe Dirty Uncle Frank would like to throw his hat in the ring.

Update: McGinn offers a response to the poll:

We're calling it "the free-tunnel poll" because public support for the tunnel plummets once they know about its $4.2 billion price-tag, the tax increases to pay for it and that Seattle is responsible for all cost overruns.

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