Democratic challenger Carolyn Long is leading Republican incumbent Jaime Herrera Beutler by a two-point margin, 45 to 43 percent, in new poll results released Friday by Long’s campaign.
The partisan poll was done by Lake Research Partners. The same company polled voters in Washington’s 3rd Congressional District before the primary in June. Results at that time showed Long trailing Herrera Beutler by 5 percentage points. That poll proved close to the primary results, which Herrera Beutler won by 7 points.
Pollsters called 400 Washingtonians in a live telephone survey Oct. 9–11. The polling company said the results have a margin of error of 4.9 percent, which puts Long's lead within that margin.
"Clearly voters are tired of the same old partisan talking points from our opponent, who has run exclusively negative ads on TV and repeatedly tried to mislead voters about Carolyn’s positions on the issues,” said Long’s campaign manager, Michelle Thimios in a press release announcing the polling numbers.
Long’s campaign attributes the candidate’s leap in the poll from gains with independent voters. According to the poll, Long leads with independents by a 10-point margin, with 40 percent of the vote compared to Herrera Beutler’s 30 percent.
The race for southwest Washington's 3rd Congressional District seat is much closer than many anticipated. Long made a strong showing in the Washington primary, trailing Herrera Beutler 42–35.
Since then, Long has received both local and national endorsements, including Democratic groups like Emily's List and former President Barack Obama. The tight race is attracting national media attention and has been flagged as a district that could flip for the Democrats in November.
Herrera Beutler's campaign quickly dismissed the poll Friday.
"A poll Carolyn Long paid for says she's ahead — what a surprise," said Angeline Riesterer, Herrera Beutler's spokesperson. "Jaime will win the election."
Reisterer added that "southwest Washington won't support a candidate who wants to raise their income taxes."
Throughout the campaign, Herrera Beutler has accused Long of supporting a Medicare For All system that Herrera Beutler says would require trillions more in federal income taxes. Long disputes this and says she supports bringing back parts of the Affordable Care Act and looking at a public health insurance option for rural residents.
Herrera Beutler is running for her fifth term in Congress. In past elections, she’s beat her Democratic challengers by double-digit percentage point leads.