A Republican political outsider is giving Democrat incumbent Patty Murray a run for the money in Washington’s sleeper Senate race, thanks to Independent voters. Tiffany Smiley, a veterans advocate and mother of three, is trailing Murray by less than two points—46.4 percent to 48 percent in the latest InsiderAdvantage poll of Washington state likely voters. Another 5.6 percent of responants said they were undecided or had no opinion.
Significantly, Smiley has a commanding lead among Independent likely voters, with 62.9 percent saying they would vote for her if the election were held today. By comparison, only 28.7 percent of Independent likely voters said they would vote for Murray.
“Voters who self-identify as Independents favor Smiley by some thirty-three percentage points making this race far more competitive than expected,” said InsiderAdvantage Chairman Matt Towery.
The InsiderAdvantage survey of 550 likely voters took place on October 31, and has a margin of error of 4.2 percent.
It follows a Trafalgar poll on Monday that also showed the Senate race in Washington tightening. That poll showed Murray at 49.9 percent versus Smiley at 48.2 percent.
Smiley’s surge comes after she went toe-to-toe with Murray in a televised Town Hall.
ICYMI — Last night I participated in a televised Town Hall with @PattyMurray to discuss the issues facing Washington voters this election.
With surging crime & skyrocketing inflation, it’s clear we need new leadership in Washington state.
Here are some Town Hall highlights: pic.twitter.com/cguXZE0E43
— Tiffany Smiley (@SmileyForWA) October 31, 2022
According to the InsiderAdvantage poll, 44 percent percent of Washington residents have a favorable opinion of Joe Biden, and 53.1 percent have a unfavorable opinion of him. Another 2.9 percent of likely voters said they had no opinion.
The 79 year-old polled best with senior voters aged 65 or over with 53.2 percent giving him a favorable rating. Among younger voters aged 19 to 39, 42.7 percent had a favorable opinion of Biden, and among 40 to 64 year-olds, only 39 percent had a favorable opinion.
Among white voters, Biden had a 47 percent favorable rating, with 47.6 percent having an unfavorable opinion of him. Among Black voters, 56 percent said they had a favorable opinion of Biden, with 40 percent having an unfavorable opinion.
Other (mainly Hispanic voters) overwhelmingly disapproved of Biden, with only 16.6 percent saying they have a favorable opinion of him. Another 72.8 percent said they have an unfavorable opinion of Biden. He scored worse with males, with only 34.2 percent having a favorable opinion of Biden compared to 52.4 percent of females. Only 26.3 percent of Independent voters said they have a favorable opinion of Joe Biden. The overwhelming majority of Independent voters—72.6 percent—said they have an unfavorable opinion of him.
Biden’s term in office has been marked by a series of self-inflicted disasters and failures, including his botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, mishandling the COVID pandemic, out of control inflation, high gas prices, the border crisis, executive overreach, his increasingly authoritarian behavior, intentionally divisive/woke policies, his declining mental state, the recession, and his demonization of Trump supporters.