Poll: There’s a path for independent legislative candidates in Washington, if they can get past primary

By Jim Brunner, Seattle Times Staff Reporter

"An independent candidate has not been elected to Washington’s Legislature since 1889, but a newly released poll suggests voters are willing to back an independent — if only one could get past the state’s top-two primary.

The poll was sponsored by Unite America, a national group pushing for a new wave of independent, centrist candidates. The group, formerly known as the Centrist Project, has a Washington affiliate called Washington Independents, co-chaired by former state GOP chairman Chris Vance and former Democratic Congressman Brian Baird.

The group’s poll, released Thursday, found 75 percent of voters said they are open to supporting independent candidates for the Legislature. In a hypothetical fall matchup, the poll found a generic independent candidate leading a generic Republican 43 percent to 24 percent, and leading a generic Democrat 35 percent to 27 percent."

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