Opposition from the left, mustering under the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy banner, didn’t help I-732 Photo by Sara Bernard

I-732 Did Really, Really Bad Among Late Undecided Voters

As in, 96 percent voted “no” bad. You can thank the Koch Brothers.

The Seattle-based Elway Poll today released a postmortem on the Washington elections, comparing its polling figures from October to what actually transpired. The numbers show that—unlike the country as a whole—there were few November 8 surprises in the state.

“In contrast to the earthquake that rolled across the country last Tuesday, Washington’s election night held few surprises,” Stuart Elway wrote in a memo released today. “Of the 16 races polled, 13 were correctly anticipated.” However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t interesting nuggets in the data, few more interesting than this: Carbon Washington absolutely collapsed in late-deciding voting—that is, among people who were still undecided about the measure when last polled.

Specifically, in October, I-732 was leading by 8 points in the Elway Poll, with about 40 percent support. That by no means ensured victory, as there were plenty of undecided voters, who tend to vote against ballot measures when it comes time to cast ballots. Even still, it was a bad break for I-732: Of those undecided voters, 96 percent voted no, according to Elway numbers.The measure ended up losing by 18 points.

It’s hard to say what caused such a hard break against the carbon tax measure, since it had so much working against it. The Koch Brothers and other polluters poured money into the no campaign late in the campaign, flooding the airwaves with negative ads.

Meanwhile, it remained dogged by liberal opposition. While this paper and The Stranger both endorsed it, several liberal Stranger writers and the Seattle Times editorial board opposed it. Strange bedfellows indeed!

“It looked like the ‘yes’ side in October was within striking distance, but when the ‘no’ side spent heavily, it re-enforced voters’ inclination to vote for against things they aren’t convinced of,” Elway told Seattle Weekly. “The fact that the ‘yes’ side did not improve in those last few weeks, that’s pretty indicative that they couldn’t budge off their 40.”

Carbon Washington got some timely endorsements from Leonardo DiCaprio, James Hansen and other climate bigwigs, but it was clearly not enough to withstand the onslaught of negativity. You can read our full whodunit here.

Hit twitter for text of the Elway memo:

More in News & Comment

Bob Ferguson is going after controversial Trump administration policies once again. Photo by Joe Mabel/Wikimedia Commons
AG Ferguson Takes on Trump’s Immigrant Family Separation

Washington’s Attorney General plans to sue the federal government over the “zero tolerance” policy.

Since he first ran for the King County Prosecutor’s Office in 2007, Dan Satterberg has never faced an electoral challenger. Photo courtesy Dan Satterberg
The Political Invulnerability of King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg

He hasn’t faced an electoral challenge since taking office. Does his new longshot social justice-minded challenger stand a chance?

Aneelah Afzali, executive director of American Muslim Empowerment Network, was the featured speaker at 21 Progress’s Rise #7 event. Photo by Melissa Hellmann
How a Local Muslim Activist Is Bridging the Faith Divide to Foster Hope

As part of 21 Progress’ Rise series, Aneelah Afzali drew parallels between anti-Muslim rhetoric and immigration xenophobia.

After Seattle’s controversial employee head tax was repealed, King County Executive Dow Constantine wants to bond against existing tax revenues to generate $100 million for affordable housing. Photo by Joe Mabel/Wikipedia Commons
County Executive Proposes $100 Million Affordable Housing Bond

The money was already coming, but Constantine wants to speed up the process.

The exterior of the University District crisis pregnancy center, 3W Medical for Women. Photo by Keiko DeLuca
How Title X Cuts Impact UW Women’s Health

Some student advocates worry that slashed budgets could drive student to misleading crisis pregnancy centers.

Trans Pride Seattle seeks to strengthen the transgender and non-binary community. 
Photo courtesy of Gender Justice League
Trans Pride Seattle Continues Marching

In light of federal budget cuts, the parade that highlights marginalized voices survives due to community crowdfunding.

As the executive director of the Tenants Union of Washington State, Violet Lavatai (left) believes that YIMBY policies 
do not actually help the communities most in need of housing. Photo courtesy Tenants Union of Washington State
The Growing Power of Seattle YIMBYs

The tech-funded “Yes in My Backyard” movement thinks the housing crisis can be solved by rapid development, but does it only benefit those at the top?

Hidden River Farms is 100 acres of farmland in Grays Harbor County. Photo by Lucia Wyss
Sowing the Seeds of Mental Health

Suicide is an epidemic amongst agricultural workers, but young farmers and state legislators are working to find solutions.

Most Read