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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Olympia

Washington Poll: Gregoire slightly ahead of Rossi…

Gov. Chris Gregoire enjoys slightly more support than Republican challenger Dino Rossi, according to a new poll from the University of Washington.

The poll (Phone interviews of 600 registered voters, margin of error +/- 4 percent) shows the following support for the following candidates:

Gregoire: 47 percent
Rossi: 42 percent
Libertarian Ruth Bennett (who I don't think is running yet, if at all in 2008): 2 percent
"Other": 1 percent
Undecided: 7 percent

The Washington Poll, a nonpartisan survey sponsored by UW's Institute for the Study of Ethnicity, Race and Sexuality, correctly called five of the six measures on the ballot this month, erring only in suggesting that voters would agree to make it easier for school districts to pass school levies.

The year before, the poll correctly predicted 5 races out of 5.

The geographical breakdown in the most recent poll is:

Puget Sound: 50 percent Gregoire, 38 percent Rossi, 2 percent Bennett.
Eastern Washington: 36 percent Gregroire, 52 percent Rossi, 5 percent Bennett.

Recently registered voters seem to like Rossi (45 percent to Gregoire's 38) and Bennett, whereas stalwart voters (voting in three out of the past three general elections) like Gregoire: 49 percent to Rossi's 42.

Party defectors are about equal: 5 percent of Democrats said they supported Rossi; 6 percent of Republicans backed Gregoire. Independents were also about equally split between the two: 43 percent Gregoire to 41 percent Rossi.

Interestingly, the results suggest that Gregoire does better among older voters (45 years old +) than Rossi does.

Short takes and breaking news from the Washington Legislature and the state capital.