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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

October 18, 2012 at 3:11 PM

New UW poll shows close race between Inslee and McKenna

A new poll by the University of Washington found Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Inlsee essentially tied with Republican Rob McKenna among likely voters.

The poll showed him leading roughly 47 percent to 46 percent among likely voters and 48 percent to 45 percent among registered voters.

The KCTS9 Washington Poll surveyed 782 registered voters and 644 likely voters, with a respective margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 and 3.9 percentage points. The survey, done from Oct. 1 to Oct. 16, showed 6.6 percent of likely voters were undecided.

It’s the third poll in recent days that found the race very close, with respondents giving Inslee a small edge. A Rasmussen Reports survey of likely voters showed Inslee with a 47 to 45 percent lead, with 8 percent undecided, and a KING 5 SurveyUSA poll had Inslee leading Mckenna 47 percent to 44 percent, with 9 percent undecided.

The UW poll “is more confirmation that the gubernatorial race is going to be exceptionally close in a state that is otherwise giving us a lot of signals that it is leaning blue,” said Matt Barreto, a political science professor at the University of Washington.

He noted that the UW poll showed Democratic U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell leading her Republican challenger, Michael Baumgartner, by about 58 to 35 percent. President Obama was leading Republican Mitt Romney by about 52 to 43 percent among likely voters. And Referendum 74, which would uphold the state’s legalization of gay marriage if approved,was ahead 54 to 38 percent among likely voters.

“You have three really solid votes for Democrats and progressive issues, yet on the gubernatorial race it’s within the margin of error,” Barreto said, but added, “I think it’s still leaning Inslee.”

In the Ref. 74 polling, the survey included some additional questions to try to determine if people were telling the truth in their answers. When those results were factored in, the poll found roughly 53 percent of likely voters supported the measure and about 47 percent were opposed.

The poll found Initiative 1185, which would restate a law requiring a two-thirds vote in the Legislature to increase taxes, was leading 54 percent to 31 percent among likely voters, with 14.5 percent undecided.

Initiative 502, the marijuana legalization, regulation and taxation measure, was leading 47 percent to 40 percent among likely voters, with nearly 12 percent undecided.

Initiative 1240, which would authorize up to 40 publicly-funded charter schools, was leading 49 percent to 40 percent among likely voters with 12 percent undecided.

Comments | More in Education, Governor, Marijuana, Politics Northwest, U.S. Senate | Topics: Matt Barreto, Washington poll


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