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Postman on Politics

Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.

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February 21, 2008 1:43 PM

Poll: McCain could beat Clinton here, but not Obama

Posted by David Postman

The UW’s Washington Poll this month found that in a general election contest McCain would get 48.6 percent of the votes compared to 45.1 for Clinton with 6.3 undecided.

But if the Democratic nominee were Barack Obama, he would get 54.9 percent of the vote compared to 40.3 for McCain with 4.8 percent undecided.

Respondents were asked how they would vote if the general election were held today. You can click here to go to the Washington Poll results page and download the latest findings.

This is the same dynamic the Washington Poll found late last year when voters were asked about a hypothetical general election between Rudy Giuliani and Obama or Clinton. That poll found a statistical dead heat between Giuliani and Clinton, but that Obama would beat Giuliani.

Obama continues to show he can pull more independent voters here than Clinton. That goes to the argument the Democrats are having about which of them is more electable in November. Washington should be a safe place for any Democratic presidential candidate. Ronald Reagan is the last Republican to win a majority of the state’s votes.

The UW pollsters went back to the same voters they talked to last fall to get the update. They also polled on the governor’s race to compare November to February.

That poll shows Gov. Chris Gregoire leading Republican Dino Rossi after the rematch initially looked like it was starting as a very tight race. The November poll had Gregoire at 46.8 percent and Rossi at 42.4. But now Gregoire gets 53.7 percent of those polled compared to Rossi’s 42.1 percent.

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