Looks competitive

The early take, here as (broadly) elsewhere, has been that the Washington governor’s race for the year upcoming, between Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna and Democrat Jay Inslee, will be highly competitive. A couple of new polls seem to reinforce that.

Both give McKenna, at present, a modest lead.

Moore Information puts McKenna at 37%, Inslee at 32%, and 26% “don’t know.” Moore’s analysis concludes, “At this stage of the campaign, this race appears very fluid with almost one-in-three voters not opting for either candidate. However, among those who have decided, McKenna is hitting the right targets and doing well with the audiences he must have to win statewide.”

Moore is, it should be noted, considered a Republican pollster with some controversies in the past.

That said, a SurveyUSA poll (data collected a week ago) gives McKenna 44% and Inslee 38% – numbers not far off from Moore’s (and more favorable to the Republican). The weight of polling results continues to give McKenna a modest lead.

Whether it will last is another matter. McKenna is fairly well known already, having been elected twice statewide, while Inslee has been well known only in his district north of Seattle. Over the course of more that a year of campaigning, both will likely become about equally well known.

And there is some ongoing weight to running as a Democrat in Washington. In the race to replace McKenna as attorney general, two King County Council members, comparably well known (that is, not very outside of King), have announced and were polled; Democrat Bob Ferguson scored 39% and Republican Reagan Dunn 34%.

The governor’s race looks plenty hot from here.

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