Dueling mayoral polls
A new KIRO 7 poll shows a tight 4-point race for mayor of Seattle, with Ed Murray ahead of Mike McGinn 33 to 29 percent — and 38 percent of surveyed voters undecided. But in another new poll, conducted independently by Strategies 360, a Seattle-based public and government relations firm, Murray retains the kind of large lead (17 points in this case) seen in other surveys, leading McGinn 51 to 34 percent. The new Strategies 360 poll was conducted last week, Oct. 14-16, making it the most recent. In an email this morning, Murray’s campaign criticized the KIRO poll, saying it doesn’t consider the difference between registered and likely voters and is based on old survey data. KIRO, which said that Boston's Bernette Research conducted the poll between Oct. 7 and Oct. 10, declined to comment on the Murray camp’s criticism.
We looked back at the 2009 election (PubliCola did, too) and found that a KING 5/SurveyUSA poll in mid-October had Joe Mallahan leading McGinn 43 to 36 percent. McGinn won 51 to 47 percent. A cursory Internet search didn’t produce any late-race polls from the 2005 mayoral contest, in which Greg Nickels trounced Al Runte, taking home 65 percent of the vote. A deeper trip down mayoral memory lane turns up an Oct. 23, 2001 KING poll with a statistical tie between Nickels and Mark Sidran. That poll seemed spot-on. Nickels eked out a November victory by just 3,158 votes. — B.L.
Holding our breath for groceries
The big national chains and local grocery workers continued talking today, but preparations for a strike are moving forward. The News Tribune reported early Monday afternoon that stores have noted some small progress, which doesn't sound very encouraging. A walkout would hit Safeway, Fred Meyer, Albertson's and QFC, all of which say they would stay open with non-union employees and new hires. Alternatives to crossing a picket line include some smaller unionized stores — Metropolitan Markets and PCC Natural Markets, for instance — or non-union spots like Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. The last Seattle area grocery strike lasted three months, so even those of us who did some last-minute shopping on Sunday might have choices to make. — J.C.
On the carpet?
Seattle City Council today invited Russia's local consulate to explain his country's position on gay rights at a Nov. 18 public forum the council is convening. The SLOG reports that the letter, signed by the whole council, was delivered this morning. Any bets on whether the consul will want to explain the bigotry orchestrated by Putin and friends? — J.C.
Don James remembered
The University of Washington has scheduled a memorial at 3 p.m. next Sunday for former football coach Don James, who passed away on Sunday. At the Seattle Times, former sports columnist Blaine Newnham, who covered James during his UW career (1975-1992), captures the discipline and vision of James' legendary game preparation for games. Sportspressnw.com's Steve Rudman, another UW follower of James', recalls the only two times he ever saw the unflappable coach angry — "for all the right reasons." Once was because he feared that information about an opponent's strategy had been given to his assistants unethically. In the spirit of James' discipline and decency, we will bite our tongue, several times, and just say we think that most coaches today are honorable and decent. But in any era, he would stand out. — J.C.
Best country music station: In NW
The Country Music Association announced this week that the nation's best country music station is in the Northwest: Portland's KUPL. OregonLive.com notes today that the station, which broadcasts at 98.7 FM and online (of course), was celebrating (including here on Facebook). If there's a qualification on the award, it's that the category was for "major market" stations, meaning a lot of outlets in the heart of the South and Midwest were in other categories. But, as Crosscut's Greg Shaw noted recently, NPR and country are Northwest favorites. — J.C.
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