A new poll released by The New York Times finds U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R- Battle Ground, leading her Democratic opponent Carolyn Long in the upcoming general election.
The poll found Herrera Beutler with a modest lead of 48 percent to Long’s 41 percent. Twelve percent of respondents were undecided, and the poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 4.6 percent. The poll was based on interviews of 497 people in the 3rd Congressional District between Oct. 14 and Oct. 19.
Although The Times called attention to the limitations of the poll, such as its small sample size, both campaigns saw reason for optimism in its results.
“In spite of piles of out-of-state liberal money flowing into Carolyn Long’s campaign and ads from Nancy Pelosi-aligned super PACs attacking Jaime, the only independent poll in this race shows what we’ve said all along — Jaime is winning,” Parker Truax, Herrera Beutler’s campaign manager, said in a prepared statement. “The credit for Jaime’s comfortable lead goes to her strong record of fighting for solutions and getting results for the residents of Southwest Washington,”
Earlier this month, the Long campaign released the results of an internal poll showing her with 45 percent of the vote to Herrera Beutler’s 43 percent. The Long campaign responded to The Times’ poll by pointing out that it didn’t meet its goals for surveying younger voters who could sway the election’s results.
The Times had a goal of getting responses from 8 percent of people it attempted to reach who are ages 18 to 29. However, it only received responses from 6 percent. The Times had a goal of getting responses from 55 percent of people 30-64 but only received 52 percent response. The Times noted that it weighted its results to account for a lack of responses from underrepresented groups.
“This has always been and was always going to be an incredibly close election. The New York Times’ own data shows they did not reach enough respondents to meet their goals for surveying voters 18-64, who are more motivated to vote and engaged in politics for the last two years than ever before,” Michelle Thimios, Long’s campaign manager, said in a statement. “We believe these voters will show up on election day to hold Republicans — including Jaime Herrera Beutler — accountable for spending trillions of their dollars and their children’s dollars on tax cuts for billionaires and big corporations.”
The poll gave Herrera Beutler, who was first elected to Congress in 2010, a 50 percent favorable rating and a 29 percent unfavorable rating. Twenty-one percent didn’t know.
Long, a political science professor at Washington State University Vancouver, had a favorable rating of 38 percent with an unfavorable rate of 22 percent. Forty percent didn’t know.
In the August primary, Herrera Beutler finished with 42 percent of the vote to Long’s 35 percent in a field of seven candidates competing in Washington’s top-two primary system.
An internal poll released in June by the Long campaign showed the first-time candidate with 37 percent of the vote to Herrera Beutler’s 42. A previous survey taken in March showed only 29 percent of voters preferring Long.
The latest campaign filings show Long outpacing Herrera Beutler in fundraising by nearly $1.2 million. However, Herrera Beutler and her campaign spokeswoman made recent comments that their internal polling shows the lawmaker ahead.
“We don’t share internal polling, but I can tell you that it showed Jaime leading,” Angeline Riesterer, Herrera Beutler’s campaign spokeswoman, said in an email.