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The Impact – Midterm Election Trends, Most Competitive Races, and the Problem with Polling in 2022

Mike McClanahan profile by Mike McClanahan

The 2022 midterms are here. Washington voters will decide who controls all ten of the state’s U.S. Congressional seats, one of two U.S. Senate seats, all 98 seats in the Washington State House of Representatives, 25 of the 49 seats in the Washington State Senate, and Washington Secretary of State’s Office.

This week a political consultants from the right and the left weigh in on the most competitive races, the trouble with polling, and the issues that ring loudest to voters this year.

Justin Matheson is the NW Director for the national consulting firm Axiom Strategies and involved in republican campaigns in Washington and elsewhere this year.

“Well, number one is crime. We’re seeing crime spike and all of our target elections that we’re polling. And then the second one that we’re seeing quite a bit is affordability. You know, people are just having to make hard decisions,” said Matheson. “And then there are some other issues. Education we’ve seen in our polling as popped up quite a bit in the last couple rounds of surveys. I think there are concerns about test scores and how their kids are performing, especially after COVID, as key issues.”

Sandeep Kaushik is a partner with the Seattle based consulting firm Sound View Strategies and involved in democratic campaign efforts in Washington this year.

“I agree that that inflation and the economy generally is obviously a top issue. And I do think every time you go fill up your tank of gas and it’s, you know, 75 or 80 bucks – that registers with people and creates a lot of anxiety and concern. That said, abortion rights,” said Kaushik.

“There was polling in the spring that really made it look like there was gonna’ be a red wave in Washington state over issues like the economy and inflation and crime, and then the Dobbs decision happened and I think it really reshaped the entire political landscape in the state. We saw in the primary results there wasn’t any indication of a red wave whatsoever legislatively. You know, if you projected out those results, Democrats would have actually gained a seat in the House based on the on the primary results and I think that was very largely due to the Dobbs decision. So I think that is a big issue.”

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