Yet another poll finds Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jay Inslee with a small but substantial lead over Republican Rob McKenna.

Following yesterday's release of a KING5/SurveyUSA poll that shows Inslee leading McKenna 49-44, Public Policy Polling has released a survey that corroborates those results. The poll of 563 likely voters, conducted September 7-9 on behalf of Washington Conservation Voters (WCV), finds Inslee with a similar 48-42 lead over his Republican opponent.

That's good news for Inslee. Even better news, according to an insider who ought to know these sort of things, is that WCV intends to back this up with a $700,000 independent expenditure against McKenna, to be spent entirely in King County. That's a dollar figure that may only amount to a small fraction of the tens of millions of dollars that will ultimately be spent in the governor's race, but it's sure to ding McKenna in Washington's most populous and environmentally sensitive county.

At least one of the issues on which the WCV ads reportedly will focus is McKenna's unprecedented refusal to defend the Department of Natural Resources in a lawsuit seeking to protect state land. The Supreme Court ultimate ruled in Public Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark's favor, ordering the Attorney General to do his constitutional and statutory job. McKenna had counted on not doing quite as crappy in King County as most Republicans generally do, but these are optics that won't play well around these parts, so good on WCV for pushing the message out.