FILE - Steve Hobbs

Steve Hobbs speaks during a hearing of the Washington State Senate Transportation Committee.

(The Center Square) – The latest poll from Atlanta, Georgia-based Trafalgar Group shows a tightening of races for secretary of state and the U.S. Senate in Washington state.

According to the poll of 1,091 likely general election voters conducted between Sept. 21 and Sept. 24, 40.4% of voters said they would vote for Democratic incumbent Steve Hobbs in the special election for secretary of state, while 36.8% would vote for his nonpartisan opponent, Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson. Undecided voters made up 22.8% of those polled.

A former state senator for the 44th Legislative District, Hobbs was tapped by Gov. Jay Inslee in November to be secretary of state after then-Secretary of State Kim Wyman, a Republican, resigned to accept an appointment as senior security lead for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency in the Biden administration.

Hobbs is the Evergreen State’s first Democratic secretary of state in more than 50 years.

Hobbs’ 40.4% in the Trafalgar poll is similar to the 39.3% of the vote he garnered in the Aug. 2 primary, suggesting that he has plateaued even as Anderson appears to be gaining strength less than two months out from the general election.

Anderson finished second in the primary election, with 12.81% of the vote in a crowded field.

The three Republican candidates on the primary election ballot – Mark Miloscia, Bob Hagglund, and Keith Wagoner – effectively fractured their party’s vote, resulting in a general election ballot with no Republican.

The Trafalgar poll also shows Republican challenger Tiffany Smiley gaining a little on incumbent U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Bothell, trailing by only 2.2 percentage points.

Per the poll, 48.7% indicated they would vote for Murray, with 46.5% voting for Smiley. Those who were undecided made up 4.8%.

A poll by Trafalgar earlier in the month had Murray up by 2.9 percentage points. In that poll, Murray got 49.2% of the vote, Smiley got 46.3%, and 4.5% said they were undecided.

Other polls have consistently shown Murray with a more substantial lead over Smiley.

The Center Square reached out to both campaigns for comment on Trafalgar’s latest poll results.

Elisa Carlson, communications director for Smiley, indicated the campaign had seen the poll and then went on to predict victory.

“Tiffany Smiley will win this race because our issues-focused campaign is resonating with Washington voters,” she said in an email. “Our ads and our Agenda for Recovery and Reform addresses the concerns touching Washingtonians’ daily lives – the economy, crime, education – and putting forth common sense solutions to address each of those issues. Meanwhile, Senator Murray has been focused on avoiding the debate stage and pinning her hopes of reelection on scaring voters. Tiffany will continue to do what she has done from the start – listen to and learn from the voters of Washington.”

The Murray campaign did not respond to The Center Square’s request for comment.

The general election is Nov. 8.

Staff Reporter

Brett Davis reports on Washington state government for The Center Square. He previously worked for public policy organizations the Freedom Foundation and Washington Farm Bureau, as well as various community newspapers.