Poll: McKenna leading Inslee in Wash. governor's race

Jessica M. Karmasek Jan. 18, 2012, 3:34pm



OLYMPIA, Wash. (Legal Newsline) - Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna is leading his opponent, U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, in the race to be the state's next governor, according to new poll results released Tuesday.

According to the KING 5 poll conducted by SurveyUSA, 46 percent of voters surveyed said they would vote for McKenna, a Republican, while 43 percent said they would vote for Inslee, a Democrat who represents the state's First Congressional District.

McKenna's lead has shrunk since an earlier poll, which had the attorney general six points ahead.

According to the survey results, voters were more confident in the attorney general's ability to manage the state budget, with 44 percent saying McKenna would do a better job, compared to Inslee's 35 percent.

The poll, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent, also showed McKenna leads when it comes to education, with 40 percent saying he would be better, compared to Inslee's 35 percent.

However, a majority of voters polled believe Inslee would serve the state better when it comes to social issues and the environment.

The KING 5 survey also showed McKenna receiving more support from his core base, Republicans.

Ninety-one percent said they would support McKenna, while a slightly smaller group of Democrats -- 83 percent -- said they would vote for Inslee.

Independents also favored McKenna, 44 to 38 percent, according to the survey.

Overall, 11 percent of voters are still undecided, the poll showed.

Even among those who told KING 5 they would vote for McKenna or Inslee, only 65 percent said they have made up their minds. Thirty-one percent said they could still make a change.

A total of 617 registered voters statewide were surveyed, on landlines and cell phones.


Meanwhile, challengers are already lining up to fill state Supreme Court Justice Tom Chambers' seat on the bench.

Chambers announced Friday he won't seek re-election when his second term expires at the end of the year.

According to The Seattle Times, John Ladenburg, Pierce County's former prosecutor, has said he will run for an open seat on the Court.

And King County Superior Court Judge Bruce Hilyer announced Friday he will run for Chambers' seat.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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