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Floating bridges
All roads to the governorship lead through the Eastside
Elway. 2/7-9. Registered voters. MoE ±5%. (6/28-30 results):
Jay Inslee (D): 36 (17)
Rob McKenna (R): 45 (20)
Undecided: 20 (49)
Here's one more poll for the pile showing that Democratic Rep. Jay Inslee's got his work cut out for him in trying to keep the Democrats' 28-year hold on Washington's governorship going: local pollster Elway -- who local conservatives like to ding for coming up with too-friendly-to-Democrats results -- finds Inslee in his deepest hole yet in the race, down 9 points. The good news here, if there is any, is that McKenna doesn't perform any better here than he has in any other poll; basically every poll this cycle has put him in the 44-46 point range, having consolidated the Republican base, but never breaking free toward the 50% mark.

The difference from pollster to pollster always seems to be how engaged with Inslee the Dem-leaning undecideds are, as he's ranged anywhere from the high 30s to the mid 40s, and here Elway finds them not engaged at all. (Both this and the previous Elway poll -- which only did a kitchen-sink version of the Top 2 primary -- sported much higher undecideds than other pollsters, and as David Nir mentioned in the daily digest, there are some methodological quirks here that make it seem like leaners aren't being pushed very hard here.) Methodological quibbling, though, can't paper over the fact that there's a perception problem here that Inslee has to overcome: he's at 28/22 "positive"/"negative" impression (again, a strange way of asking favorables), compared with 42/14 for McKenna.

The Seattle Times writeup of this poll contains an odd little tidbit that may actually be more newsworthy than the poll itself: it says that Democratic insiders, seemingly increasingly jittery about Inslee's ability to light a fire in this race (and perhaps kicking themselves over clearing a primary-free path for him), have been urging Inslee to resign from Congress and plant himself in the other Washington for full-time campaigning. For many of you, that probably conjures up memories of now-Gov. Neil Abercrombie's unnecessary 2010 House resignation and the subsequent fluky victory in HI-01, a district even bluer than WA-01, by Republican Charles Djou.

So how would that play out here? If Inslee does decide to resign, but he can hold out until early March (but before May's filing deadline), we'd enter a window where, under Washington election law, the primary and general special elections would take place at the same time as the regularly scheduled primary and general. (That's similar to how David Patterson managed to kick the can on a potentially embarrassing NY-29 special election in 2010, except here, the governor doesn't have any scheduling discretion; it's simply required this way by statute.) So that would eliminate the possibility of a resource-consuming special in the middle of the year.

It could lead to a whole different level of weirdness, though, given that redistricting will be taking effect at that point. Will the "special election" be run under the existing WA-01 lines, or the newly drawn ones? If the special is under the old lines, you could have a strange situation where residents of Shoreline and Edmonds are voting in the WA-01 special election and the WA-07 regular election at the same time. And given that the new WA-01 is considerably less blue than the old WA-01, we could even wind up with a hypothetical situation where a Dem wins the old-lines special and a Republican wins the new-lines general on the same day, leaving the luckless Dem to serve out the lame duck session (a la Shelley Sekula-Gibbs of TX-22 in 2006, or, as we prefer to call her, Snelly Gibbr).

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 12:14 PM PST.

Also republished by PacNW Kossacks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'm looking at the Undecideds. There is a LOT (5+ / 0-)

    of room for movement.  McKenna is a known quantity in Washington.  Seems to me that most of that 20% is people waiting to get to know Inslee more.

    Time for some media buys, I'm thinking.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 12:20:17 PM PST

  •  Now would be a good time to warm up the (0+ / 0-)

    media machine while the GOP in DC is clearing a path for Dems on the downticket.  Of course, it always depends on how much $$$ each of the candidates has.

  •  Have WA Democratic voters not learned (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    princesspat, James Allen

    anything from the results of the 2010 election is places like WI and OH?  Do they want to face the disaster of having ALEC and the Koch brothers running their state when they wake up the day after the election?

    “when Democrats don’t vote, Democrats don’t win.” Alan Grayson

    by ahumbleopinion on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 01:58:37 PM PST

    •  low-information voters (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      David Jarman, pbearsailor

      Like it or not, that's the vast majority.  Another sort of 99%, if I can use the metaphor.

      They see McKenna in PSAs about reining in gangs, about combatting meth.  They see a guy who looks kinda meek and mild, a regular guy like their neighbor.  If they read a newspaper, they see lots and lots of "news" stories (to say nothing of editorials) lauding him as a Dan Evans Republican, emphasizing his nebulous, feel-good, totally unfunded "policy" statements about improving K-12 education.  They read that we haven't had a Republican in Olympia since 1980.

      The LIVs don't know about the Obamacare lawsuit, don't know about his disparagement of unions, his anti-choice and anti-equality stands.  They don't know that he's nowhere close to the milquetoast he looks like.  

      It's going to be difficult to overcome his carefully-drawn image.  Dino Rossi looked the part of a sleazy used car salesman whose unspoken values were at odds with Washingtonians, so it was relatively easy to pin the wingnut label on him.  Not so with McKenna.

      Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. -- K.Marx A.Lincoln

      by N in Seattle on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 03:18:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm sorry to say but Inslee seems lazy (0+ / 0-)

    The Inslee organization has not crystallized into anything substantive and it shows.  Just this past weekend at a major cultural event at the Tacoma Dome, Inslee had a booth staffed by 2 volunteers not direct campaign staffers.  The booth was unadorned and the candidate was no where to be seen.  Contrast that with McKenna who had a large booth with lots of giveaways and was there personally pressing the flesh.

    For a candidate that is starting out several points behind, it is not a good omen of things to come.  It's one thing to say that the next 4 years in our state will be brutal financially and might as well let the other party deal with the pain. But given what the Republican thugs have done in several states, do we want that kind of thing to happen here?  That is why we must fight and either this candidate gets his ass in gear or steps aside for someone who will fight.

    --Mr. President, you have to earn my vote every day. Not take it for granted. --

    by chipoliwog on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 04:15:54 PM PST

  •  Oh God (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingofSpades, sapelcovits

    The Snelly Gibbr Chronicles.  Why don't we have stories like that anymore!  Thant brings me back to my days of lurking SSP.  Good times.

    Swingnut since 2009, 20, Male, Democrat, CA-49 (home) CA-14 (college) Join r/elections on reddit!

    by Daman09 on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 10:57:33 PM PST

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