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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.

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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.