The state of Washington's Public Disclosure Commission (the "PDC") is currently considering a Petition for Rulemaking that would deem most internal political polling to be "political advertising" and require the survey taker to begin or end with the name of the sponsor of the poll and to identify the candidate, party, or ballot proposition committee on whose behalf the poll was conducted. If such private polls are included in the definition of "political advertising" several other disclosure and advertising rules that could have a negative effect on survey research organizations may also apply.
CASRO has submitted written comments in opposition to the changes and has sought to educate the PDC on the difference between legitimate political survey research and illegitimate "push polling" abuses. At its meeting on January 28th, the PDC heard a summary of the public comments regarding the proposal and pushed further discussion to its meeting in February. One factor weighing on the PDC is Washington House Bill 2016 that would make several amendments to the state's campaign finance and advertising rules; however, none of the proposed changes in HB 2016 touch the issue of political polling as political advertising.