Research suggests tough race for Herrera Beutler

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U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, might be in for a tough race if a recent poll from a Democratic political research firm is any indication as far below half of those polled said they would vote again for the incumbent Congresswoman.

A release from the campaign of Democrat Carolyn Long, a challenger to Herrera Beutler’s seat as the Third Congressional District of Washington Representative, was released last week and provided summary of the results of a survey conducted by Lake Research Partners, a political strategy firm that has helped numerous Congressional Democrats in the past. 

The highlight was a question on whether would-be voters would cast their ballots for Herrera Beutler, with only 38 percent polled saying they would vote for the Republican again.

The poll took place over the period of March 8-12 and featured about 400 respondents, according to the release, with close to a 5 percent margin of error. Although fewer than half said they would vote for Herrera Beutler, only 20 percent of respondents said they would vote to replace her with another 22 percent saying they would consider it. Nineteen percent of respondents did not know what they would do.

Lake Research Partners provided further insights though a spokesman from Long’s campaign said the full data would not be released as it is proprietary. Herrera Beutler’s job performance was at 39 percent among those polled, and only 27 percent approved of Republicans’ work in Congress.

“I’m excited that the poll shows what we’ve been seeing at more than a dozen in-person town halls before 1,100 constituents across the district,” Long said. “People don’t see the incumbent fighting for them, they only see Washington, D.C. giving tax breaks to the super wealthy while trying to take away people’s healthcare.” 



“I’ve been polling voters in swing districts for a long time, so trust me when I say that this is a winnable race and we’ve got the best chance with Carolyn Long,” Lake Research Partners President Celinda Lake stated in the release. “Carolyn’s background about growing up in a rural community, working her way through college as a department manager at Safeway, attending graduate school and becoming a professor at WSU Vancouver for more than 22 years; it’s a story that voters can get behind.” 

Long has been a professor at WSU-Vancouver, the release stated, teaching classes in American institutions, public law, American public policy and public civility. She is one of three Democratic challengers to Beutler alongside businessman and lawyer David McDevitt and Iraq War veteran Dorothy Gasque, and will compete against them and Herrera Beutler in the top-two primary Aug. 7, with the winners moving to the Nov. 6 election.

As a pollster, Lake Research Partners has a slight lean to Democratic biases at about a half a percentage point according to fivethirtyeight.com, a statistical analysis website strongly associated with politics. Overall the pollster has a “B+” rating by the site and had called races correctly 83 percent of the time.

The release also noted a slew of Long’s endorsements including  former representatives Brian Baird and Don Bonker of Washington’s Third Congressional District, National Women’s Political Caucus, the Clark County Democratic Women, Laborers International Union of North America Local 335, NW Carpenters Local 146, and Washington & Northern Idaho District Council of Laborers.

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