A new survey conducted by pollster Stuart Elway shows that support for Tim Eyman’s I-1366 is dropping, while support is rising, according to an article published this morning by The Seattle Times.
In a poll conducted from October 13th-15th, Elway surveyed five hundred registered voters, and found that 42% of respondents were supporting I-1366, while 42% were opposed and 16% were undecided. Back in the summer, from July 21st-23rd, Elway conducted a poll of Washington voters that found 49% support for I-1366, 36% opposition, and 15% undecided.
Eyman’s I-1366 would cut sales tax revenue by $8 billion over the next six years unless, by next April, the Legislature bows to the will of his wealthy benefactors and passes a constitutional amendment sabotaging our Constitution’s majority vote requirement for passage of bills and budgets.
“Stuart Elway’s new findings provide fresh evidence that our efforts to bring Washingtonians together to defeat Tim Eyman’s incredibly destructive I-1366 are paying off,” said Northwest Progressive Institute founder and Executive Director Andrew Villeneuve, who has been organizing opposition to Eyman’s initiative factory for over thirteen years. “We believe that if Washingtonians truly appreciate the costs and consequences of I-1366, most will vote no. That’s why our diverse, bipartisan coalition is working hard to connect with voters every day. We’re determined to protect our Constitution and the values our state was founded upon.”
Tim Eyman sent out an email this morning trying to minimize Elway’s findings.
“The press will certainly hyperventilate as they always do whenever an Elway poll is released, as if his numbers are printed on stone tablets,” Eyman wrote. “But without perspective, these numbers are meaningless.”
Perspective is certainly useful, but as usual, Eyman’s perspective is warped. Elway’s new findings indicate that the I-1366 isn’t going Eyman’s way… so he’s trying to dismiss them by claiming that Elway’s research is understating the true level of support for I-1366.
Eyman has made this same argument in years past. Four years ago, Eyman disputed an October Elway poll that showed his anti-tolling initiative (I-1125) losing serious ground after the opposition campaign began hitting its stride. But I-1125 ultimately went down to defeat, validating Elway’s conclusion that the measure was losing support.
And two years ago, Elway’s polling on Eyman’s Initiative 517 documented a decline in support between September and October 2013. Elway found that I-517, Eyman’s initiative on initiatives, dropped from 58% in favor and 22% opposed in September to 52% support and 25% opposed in mid-October. I-517 ultimately went on to lose in a landslide, with 62.71% of voters opposed in the only poll that mattered.
The trend is what’s important, and the trend is not going Eyman’s way, so he is trying to dismiss Elway’s research. But Elway’s findings jibe with the response we’re seeing to our campaign. It is significant to us that Elway found a substantial negative swing against I-1366 among “perfect” and “frequent” voters.
“If this survey were the election and only ‘perfect voters’ who have decided cast ballots, turnout would be about 32% and I-1366 would lose by 55% to 45%,” Elway’s memo noted. “If only ‘frequent voters’ voted, turnout would be about 53% and I-1366 would lose by 51% to 49%.”
Secretary of State Kim Wyman is forecasting statewide turnout of forty-six percent for the November 2015 general election.
“We are heartened by Elway’s findings showing a trend against I-1366, but we remain focused on reaching to voters to ensure they’re aware of the devastation I-1366 would cause,” said Villeneuve. “Voting continues until November 3rd, and there are several weeks to go. We have believed throughout this campaign that I-1366 could be defeated and deserves to be defeated. We’ll continue working as hard as we can to ensure as many Washingtonians as possible cast an informed vote against this terrible initiative.”