A new Democratic poll released Tuesday by congressional candidate Carolyn Long’s campaign shows incumbent Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler in vulnerable territory as she prepares to mount her fourth re-election bid.
Only 39 percent of voters approve of the Battle Ground Republican’s job performance, according to a survey conducted March 8-12 by Washington, D.C.-based Lake Research Partners.
Out of 400 likely midterm voters surveyed in Southwest Washington's 3rd Congressional District, just 38 percent said they would vote to re-elect Herrera Beutler, the poll found. The live telephone survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.
According to the poll, only 27 percent of the voters said they think Republicans in Congress are doing an “excellent” or “good” job.
The poll, conducted on behalf of the Long campaign, did not capture Herrera Beutler's disapproval rating.
Lake Research Partners has a B+ pollster rating from FiveThirtyEight, an elections forecasting site that analyzes firms' historical accuracy and methodology. The poll leans Democrat by 0.5 percent on average, according to the site.
The survey found that Long lacks initial name recognition, but she has plenty of room to improve. Long, a first-time candidate who teaches political science at Washington State University Vancouver, is vying with two other Democrats to win the party’s nomination in August.
Long trails Herrera Beutler 29 percent to 49 percent on an initial ballot, the poll found. But that margin narrowed to 41 percent to 45 percent after respondents were read positive profiles of both candidates and two short messages. “I’ve been polling voters in swing districts for a long time, so trust me when I say that this is a winnable race and we’ve got the best chance with Carolyn Long,” Celinda Lake, president of Lake Research Partners, said in a press release accompanying the poll results.
Long fielded questions from potential Southwest Washington voters questions at a challengers forum in Longview last week. She’s competing in the state’s top-two primary against David McDevitt, are Vancouver businessman and lawyer, and Dorothy Gasque, an Iraq war veteran and progressive activist.
McDevitt is running for the second time against Herrera Beutler, while this is Gasque’s first congressional bid after gaining prominence as a national delegate for the Bernie Sanders campaign in 2016.
Since formally announcing her campaign in on Nov. 30, Long has sought to position herself as a pragmatist focused on finding areas of potential compromise.
She’s also demonstrated an ability to fundraise by garnering more than $34,000 in individual contributions through Dec. 31. McDevitt, meanwhile, raised about $20,000 in individual contributions all of last year, although he’s also loaned his campaign $300,000. Gasque raised $23,000 in individual contributions through the end of the year since filing to run in January 2017.
After raising $610,000 last year, Herrera Beutler’s campaign finished the reporting period with $515,000 cash on hand.