SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON — A newly conducted poll of Washington’s 3rd Congressional District shows incumbent Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler and Democratic challenger Carolyn Long in a tight race ahead of the Nov. 3 general election.
The survey, conducted early last week by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s Analytics Department and obtained by the Observer, shows Herrera Beutler narrowly leading Long, 49 percent to 47 percent — within the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.
“The campaign to represent Southwest Washington in Congress is more competitive than ever and the stakes have never been higher. This poll shows the strength of this campaign and how vulnerable the current incumbent is electorally,” said Abby Olmstead, Long’s campaign manager, in a statement.
Long’s support in the poll is driven by women, according to a memo from the DCCC. Long is winning women voters in the poll by a margin of nine points over Herrera Beutler, 52 percent to 43 percent. Long is also winning voters who identify as Independents, the memo said.
It’s the second poll released on the Democratic side in the past month to show Herrera Beutler with a slight lead against Long; in late September, an internal poll for Long’s campaign conducted by GQR Research, also showed the incumbent leading her challenger 49 percent to 47 percent. In 2018, Herrera Beutler won reelection against Long with 52.7% of the vote.
Earlier last week Cook Political Report, the nonpartisan and independent newsletter that analyzes elections and campaigns across the country, shifted its rating for the race from ‘Likely Republican’ to ‘Lean Republican.’ The rating change came less than a week after quarterly fundraising reports with the Federal Election Commission showed Long’s campaign outraised Herrera Beutler’s in the third quarter, $1.18 million to $1 million.
This week’s DCCC poll also showed former Vice President Joe Biden narrowly leading President Donald Trump in the 3rd Congressional District, 45 percent to 43 percent, a notable shift from four years ago. In 2016, Trump beat former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the district, 49 percent to 43 percent, while at the same time Herrera Beutler was coasting to victory with 62 percent of the vote over Democratic challenger Jim Moeller.
The DCCC poll of 425 likely voters in the 3rd Congressional District was conducted on Oct. 19 and 20 using a combination of live and automated calls.
Ballots for the general election have been mailed out to Washington voters. As of Oct. 22, at least 49.5 percent of Pacific County voters and 33 percent of Washington state voters have already returned their ballots. Ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 3 or dropped off by 8 p.m. that night in order to be counted.