July 14, 2009 · 11:11 AM
A June KING 5 poll shows that Susan Hutchison, the former news anchor, is still riding high on her massive name recognition advantage. It appears her notoriety and solid Republican base make Hutchison a near certainty to move past the top two primary on Aug. 18.
This puts Democrats in a difficult position. With the recent initiative to make the office of King County Executive nonpartisan, the race will be harder to frame as Democrat versus Republican — playing right into the hands of the well-known Hutchison.
To hold onto this office, Democrats should be trying to unite behind a single candidate even now. The fight to cut into Hutchison’s name recognition dominance and boost from a solid conservative base cannot start early enough for Democrats.
While numbers were previously muddled, the new poll shows that Dow Constantine is now a front-runner among Democrats. He has already proven himself a capable leader in a long career of public service, and this new poll confirms his viability. Only through unifying can the Democratic majority of King County prevent a candidate out of step with their ideals from usurping a vital office.