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Monday, July 23, 2012

Inslee, for the First Time, Leads McKenna

Posted by on Mon, Jul 23, 2012 at 5:38 PM

The latest Elway Poll shows something not yet seen in this year's race for governor: Jay Inslee in the lead, 43-36, over Rob McKenna. (With a margin of error of +/-5 percent.)

How'd that happen?

Elway says:

McKenna led earlier this year, benefiting from superior recognition and organization. He has been in statewide elected office for 8 years and preparing for this race for years. As the campaign has become more visible, and voters have become aware that there is a Democratic and a Republican candidate, the race appears to be returning to the default partisan position.

The pace lap is over. Let the race begin.

Also, Elway sees a "collapse" in McKenna's support among independents, growing support for Inslee in Seattle and King County, a growing lead for Inslee in support from women, and a higher "likability" rating for Inslee.

My guess at what's going on: The victory for health care reform at the U.S. Supreme Court, and the repeated reminders of McKenna's opposition to it, have hurt McKenna among women and independents (as Inslee's campaign has long hoped would happen). These kinds of mistakes by McKenna can't have helped, either. And, as Inslee himself predicted back in March—when we and others were asking "Does Jay Inslee Exist?"—the beginning of Inslee's air campaign appears to be doing some damage. Inslee told me in March...

...not to expect any big change in his poll numbers until he shifts from his current ground game (this exhausting scouring of the land for hands to shake, earned media moments to create, and advice to gamely absorb) to an air attack that will involve millions of dollars in TV commercials and help make this one of the most expensive governor's races in the nation.

That's now happened. Here's the new Inslee commercial that could be a major factor in this new polling shift:


Comments (14) RSS

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seandr 1
The charisma imbalance between Inslee and McKenna is so striking.

If McKenna somehow manages to win, it will be a victory for charmless, unappealing bureaucrats everywhere.
Posted by seandr on July 23, 2012 at 5:49 PM · Report this
I also think a LOT of progressives were scared to death of the poll #'s a month or two ago showing McKenna leading in King County. Perhaps this was enough to spark an early rush to rally the troops that is now registering in the polls.
Let's just hope these new #'s don't breed complacency on the part of progressives. McKenna, awful as he is, is still the GOP's best shot at the state house in decades. This race will be insanely close.
Posted by Dedalus on July 23, 2012 at 5:55 PM · Report this
TheRain 3
Props to the Inslee campaign, because I was one of those saying quite recently that he was a lazy moron who didn't have a prayer. Maybe it speaks to the demographics in Washington State, maybe it's a function of McKenna making mistakes, but for any poll to have Inslee up 7 points is rather astounding.
Posted by TheRain on July 23, 2012 at 5:59 PM · Report this
Who cares? Either way I won't be saddled with an income tax.
Posted by Sugartits on July 23, 2012 at 6:07 PM · Report this
It's because he came to Block Party.
Posted by gloomy gus on July 23, 2012 at 6:13 PM · Report this
That's just a great ad. Excuse me, I've got to give him money. Reading the Time's endorsement of Dunn this weekend makes their agenda clearer and defeating McKenna all that much more important.
Posted by moretent on July 23, 2012 at 6:21 PM · Report this
Big Sven 7
I have met Inslee, and he really is a great guy. And fucking smart. One of the reasons he got a slow start was because McKenna has been campaigning for 5000 years, while Inslee had to wait for Governor Gregoire to decide whether she was going to run again...
Posted by Big Sven on July 23, 2012 at 6:22 PM · Report this
@ 6 The ad is great I just wish he didn't brag about the no vote on TARP, that was just a bad vote, we needed to pass it or we would have been royally screwed.
Posted by Seattle14 on July 23, 2012 at 6:23 PM · Report this
Every other poll in the past three months has had this race within a few points. SurveyUSA had McKenna up by a point last week.

And now all of a sudden Inslee's up seven? Yeah, not buyin' it.
Posted by nickj116 on July 23, 2012 at 7:02 PM · Report this
Jay Inslee was one hot young man.
Posted by Racing Turtles on July 23, 2012 at 7:14 PM · Report this
The line about a Husky and a Cougar had me confused. For a second I thought he was saying his wife likes to have sex with younger men.
Posted by minderbender on July 23, 2012 at 7:23 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 12
I think the #asians slur was the kicker.

It is exactly the kind of confirming evidence for a fence sitter who might think "hey, I sort of like the Republican fiscal message, but aren't they a bunch of racists". For someone of average political interest the conclusion would have to be yes...both for the tweet and that there was no an immediate firing.

Real headline:

In the memetic wars, Republicans shoot selves in feet.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on July 23, 2012 at 8:55 PM · Report this
The Husky-Cougar line is great one. It is a way of linking him and his whole family to WA sports culture and education culture on both sides of the mountains in one quick image.

The prospect of McKenna being our governor makes me feel like somebody is telling me they are giving me a bag of dead kittens for Christmas. I feel a possibly delusional sense of optimism rising about this race. Maybe I'll even donate or do some ground work.
Posted by cracked on July 23, 2012 at 11:56 PM · Report this
Not sure how many more political reporters I'm going to need to ask on Twitter before I get the full crosstabs on that new Elway poll. But anyway, two huge differences between the two polls based on the data that actually has been released:

1) Elway poll has Inslee leading McKenna among men, 41%-38%. The SUSA poll has McKenna leading Inslee among men, 47%-36%.

2) Elway poll has Inslee leading McKenna 57%-24% in Seattle. SUSA poll has it 48%-36% for Inslee.

Survey USA poll had a 33% Dem, 30% Repub, 36% Independent split. Still no word on Dem/Repub/Indie split on the Elway poll.
Posted by nickj116 on July 24, 2012 at 11:50 AM · Report this

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