A new Washington Poll shows that if the presidential election were held today, Arizona Sen. John McCain would barely edge New York Sen. Hillary Clinton but lose badly to Illinois Sen. Barack Obama in Washington state.
The survey of 300 registered state voters, conducted Feb. 7-18, shows McCain over Clinton 48.6 percent to 45.1 percent – which is within the poll's 5.6 percent margin of error – but Obama handily beating McCain, 54.9 percent to 40.3 percent.
It also shows that Obama would fare much better than Clinton among independents. In a McCain-Clinton matchup, McCain scored 46.2 percent to Clinton's 44.1 percent. By contrast, in a McCain-Obama contest, Obama registered 60.2 percent to McCain's 34.4 percent.
Clinton would attract no Republican votes, while Obama would appeal to 9.7 percent of the state's Republican voters, the survey found.
It also found that incumbent Chris Gregoire has widened her lead over GOP challenger Dino Rossi in the gubernatorial race. A similar survey done last October showed the candidates running neck and neck. The new one shows Democrat Gregoire with 53.7 percent to former state Sen. Rossi's 42.1 percent, although the October survey involved twice as many voters.
The Washington Poll is a non-partisan, academic survey research project sponsored the University of Washington Department of Political Science.