OLYMPIA…Senate Republican Leader John Braun offered the following reaction to poll results released this month by the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce that share insights about what registered voters in Seattle, 60% of whom identify as Democrats, think of the city’s quality of life.

Since most Democratic legislators come from districts in King County, the poll represents opinions that have and will influence state law.

“It’s very validating to see that the results of this poll line up with the Senate Republican priorities to restore public safety, to return Washington to a state of affordability and to rebuild trust in government. Average, everyday people are concerned about being violently attacked or robbed in their homes or on the street. They are concerned about the safety of their children. They are worried they can’t afford to live in their hometown anymore. They look to their leaders to help and are getting very little assistance from those in charge.

“Senate Republicans spent the 2022 legislative session working to fix the anti-police laws passed by Democrats, but the ‘fixes’ the majority allowed didn’t go far enough. We fought to have penalties increased for people who use guns in the commission of a crime and for those committing armed robbery of cannabis shops specifically, but Democrats killed the bills. We pushed back on Democrat bills that are going to increase the cost of housing during our housing crisis. And we opposed all new taxes and fees because we have a $15 billion budget surplus. Part of that should go back to the taxpayers. Democrats instead used it to increase spending, which is not only irresponsible but insulting to all those people struggling to pay the bills.

“Washingtonians around the state can look at the results of this poll and see that many in Seattle are finally echoing their concerns about the quality of life here. It’s in trouble and Democrat policies are directly to blame.”


Key insights of note for legislators to consider as they face further fixes of the Democrats’ laws that many argue have threatened public safety, affordability and trust in government:


  • Two-thirds of Seattle voters have actively considered moving out of the city. Affordability and public safety are the top two reasons why.
  • Homelessness remains the top concern, by a wide margin. Residents almost universally want to invest in better mental health care, outreach to those living in camps and expanding partnerships between state and local entities.
  • The number of people saying that they don’t feel safe visiting downtown Seattle, and who think their own neighborhoods are less safe, is increasing.
  • The top five issues respondents say would have the biggest impact on improving the quality of life in Seattle all relate to public safety and crime.
  • Respondents do not trust the Seattle City Council to handle police reform and they now believe fundamental reform and hiring more officers is the best approach. Gone are the calls to “Defund the police.”
  • Nearly 60% think local taxes are too high and they do not trust the City of Seattle to spend tax dollars wisely.
  • Respondents clearly favor increasing access and opportunity as the path toward shared prosperity rather than through increased taxes and income redistribution.
  • Between the previous poll taken in August 2021 and the new poll taken in March 2022, the “Quality of Life Index” saw little change with people viewing it very negatively.