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Voters in Washington’s 6th Congressional District Overwhelmingly Support Wild Olympics Proposal, Poll Finds

QUILCENE, Wash. (June 15, 2012)—A new poll of likely voters in the 6th Congressional District shows strong support for a proposal to designate approximately 130,000 acres of wilderness and protect nearly 20 rivers and tributaries as “Wild and Scenic.”
Nearly two out of three (64 percent) likely voters expressed approval for the Wild Olympics plan proposed by Rep. Norm Dicks (D), who represents the 6th District, and Sen. Patty Murray (D). A near majority (49 percent) not only supported the proposal but also supported it “strongly.” Twenty percent of the district voters polled said they were undecided.  
“Our poll finds overwhelming support for the Wild Olympics proposal to protect rivers and streams on the Olympic Peninsula,” said Mark Mellman of the Mellman Group, which partnered with Public Opinion Strategies to conduct the poll. “Even after being told of restrictions on commercial activity and motorized vehicles in wilderness areas, support for the proposal was more than four times the mere 15 percent who opposed it. Support for the Wild Olympics proposal is demographically broad-based, including majorities of Democrats and independents, and a large plurality of Republicans. Support also extends to a wide range of those who use these lands for recreational purposes, including majorities of hikers/campers, anglers, and hunters.
More than six in 10 men, women, younger voters (ages 18 to 39), seniors (60 and older), those with a high school education or less, and those with a college degree or more back the proposal. Majorities of Democrats (82 percent), independents (54 percent), and a near-majority (48 percent) of Republicans support the Wild Olympics proposal. In addition, a wide range of recreationists favor the plan—69 percent of hikers and campers (16 percent oppose), 65 percent of anglers (18 percent oppose), and 56 percent of hunters (13 percent oppose).
“Support for the proposal is widespread and reaches across party lines,” said Lori Weigel, partner at Public Opinion Strategies.
“These results come as no surprise,” said Connie Gallant, chair of the Wild Olympics Coalition. “In the three years we have been listening to voices in the community—from all backgrounds and interests—we have found common ground in a desire to move forward to safeguard the peninsula’s most priceless natural treasures: our towering ancient forests, free-flowing rivers, critical fish and wildlife habitat, and our clean water. This new poll confirms that voters in the 6th Congressional District want to see this special place remain as it is for our children and grandchildren.”
The survey of 500 likely voters in the 6th District’s new boundaries was conducted June 7 to 10 by the Mellman Group and Public Opinion Strategies for the Pew Environment Group, at the request of the Wild Olympics Coalition, of which Pew is a member. Republican and Democratic polling firms were engaged to ensure the most independent and impartial results and to help educate the public about the proposal. The poll's margin of error was +/-4.4 percent.

Please click here for the poll results.

Wild Olympics Campaign
P.O. Box 214, Quilcene, WA 98376