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Monday, November 5, 2012

Jay Inslee Probably Wouldn't Be Locked in Such a Tight Race for Governor if He Had Come Out In Favor of Legalizing Marijuana

Posted by on Mon, Nov 5, 2012 at 1:05 PM


One reason that Democrat Jay Inslee is stuck in a "too close to call" gubernatorial contest with Republican Rob McKenna: Independents.

They're strongly favoring McKenna, giving him a 20-point lead among that demographic.

But here's something interesting: Independents also strongly favor legalizing marijuana through Initiative 502, with 60 percent supporting legalization, 33 percent opposed, and only seven percent undecided.


McKenna and Inslee both oppose I-502. But what if they'd given Independents a clear contrast on this issue?

What if Inslee, who says he'll back the will of the people when they legalize marijuana (as polls indicate they will), had instead decided to lead on marijuana law reform? What if he'd backed I-502 from the start, leaving McKenna on the wrong side of 60 percent of Independents?

If he'd done that, we'd be talking about a very different race.


Comments (19) RSS

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Old people like Inslee
Posted by cliche on November 5, 2012 at 1:19 PM · Report this
Looks to me like supporting 502 would have harmed Inslee's all-important lead among women.
Posted by Overly Simplified on November 5, 2012 at 1:32 PM · Report this
I doubt that 502 is a major voting issue for a lot of the non-Inslee, pro-502 independents. Mostly because their ranks have been inflated by libertarian tea party types for whom fiscal issues are most important and they see Inslee as a scary taxing socialist.
Posted by giffy on November 5, 2012 at 1:33 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 4
I think you hit the nail on the head with your summary, Eli.
Posted by Will in Seattle on November 5, 2012 at 1:35 PM · Report this
Yep. Inslee needs to support legalizing. Or does he support the criminals and terrorists who dont want legal weed because they are getting rich?
Posted by S T on November 5, 2012 at 1:39 PM · Report this
Are these actual independents or "Descendants of John Galt" independents who think they're being heroic by not admitting they're lockstep republicans?
Posted by podcaf on November 5, 2012 at 1:42 PM · Report this
Whats interesting about those numbers is that only 28% of teabaggers support i502! Teabaggers = ignorant racists who really dont care about taxes, freedom, or anything.
Posted by S T on November 5, 2012 at 1:42 PM · Report this
43% of 18 to 29-year-olds support McKenna? Stupid, stupid kids.
Posted by DOUG. on November 5, 2012 at 1:49 PM · Report this
Inslee would have been much better off supporting 'living wage jobs' than 'green jobs.' Independents and undecideds are much more worried about feeding their families than saving the environment; 'green' only appeals to people who'd never vote for McKenna in any case.
Posted by SuperSteve on November 5, 2012 at 1:52 PM · Report this
You're assuming there is a large percentage of independents out there who are basing their vote on marijuana legalization. There isn't. Here are the two big reasons McKenna is leading among indies: 1. He comes across as moderate. He doesn't seem like a crazy Ellen Craswell type. And he has the best resume of any Republican nominee In the past 20 years.

2. It has been over 30 years since a Republican bas been elected governor. That is not a natural state of being for even ultra blue states like Vermont, which had a GOP gov up until 2011 or very red states like Oklahoma, which had a Dem gov until 2011. Voters generally like the sweep in and sweep out of alternating executive control.
Posted by PoliGeek on November 5, 2012 at 2:14 PM · Report this
As a woman (who isn't a pothead), I'm much more interested in which candidate supports women's health choices than in their support for an initiative I'm not massively interested in.

Posted by originalcinner on November 5, 2012 at 2:15 PM · Report this
The problem is that keeping marijuana illegal is such a cash cow for too many powerful interest groups (i.e. big oil, beer and spirits companies, big pharma, the for profit prison industry, the War On Drugs industry, etc.) that a 'moderate' democrat like Inslee would be cutting off the money spigot if he came out strongly for marijuana legalization.

My expectation is that Obama and the Feds will shut down Washington's 'budding' marijuana industry (at the behest of these monied groups) by threatening all sorts of dire consequences for Washington if the state proceeds with legalization. Gov. Inslee will never let the law be implemented and use the threats from the Feds as a justification. It'll be a real nice dog and pony show. I'm sure there is already a plan in place for post-legal Washington State and Inslee knows enough of the details to realize that as Governor, he can't set himself up to be on the wrong side of the crack down. Hence his anti-marijuana position as a candidate.
Posted by screed on November 5, 2012 at 2:56 PM · Report this
There are a lot of important issues at stake. The biggest one for me is getting our state out of its fiscal hole. There is one candidate who is capable of that, and one who isn't. Inslee got demolished in those debates...all of them. He would be a disaster as Governor.
-Registered Independent
Posted by RI on November 5, 2012 at 3:00 PM · Report this
McKenna's support of Charter Schools likely pushed the undecided voters closer to his side.
Posted by Common Sense Lady on November 5, 2012 at 5:09 PM · Report this
I am a Democrat who voted for McKenna (and Obama) for two reasons: First, to punish the state's Democrats for their piss-poor handling of the budget, and second, because McKenna obviously has at least 20 I.Q. points on Inslee.
Posted by Mister G on November 5, 2012 at 6:04 PM · Report this
GhostDog 16

Usually I would agree but I have to say I'm not so sure this time.

The distinct impression I've gotten from the Feds in regards to the legalization initiatives is apathy. They seem a lot more interested in busting really big dispensaries in California than any of the initiatives that are going on.

Even when directly asked about it on 60 Minutes the best they could muster was that they'll do something about it if it gets really huge and ridiculous. I'm paraphrasing because I can't copy and past from an article, go here(…) to read it for yourself.

Compared to 2010 when Attorney General Eric Holder said that he would bust all the pot heads in California this is almost ignoring the issue.
Posted by GhostDog on November 5, 2012 at 7:54 PM · Report this
beatgrl 17
Young people prefer McKenna...Gangnam Style is powerful!
Posted by beatgrl on November 5, 2012 at 8:05 PM · Report this
Hard to consider, I know, but maybe Inslee is just against legal marijuana, and so feels he can't support the measure.
Posted by Gerald Fnord on November 6, 2012 at 1:10 AM · Report this
May as well have legal marijuana, so that people will be so stupified they will not notice when the same policy that is in place to let the poor die in New York and New Jersey happens here when we get hit with the earthquake. George Orwell would be so proud of Washingtonians and their stoned Soma crowd.
Posted by on November 7, 2012 at 5:21 PM · Report this

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