Just How Competitive Is Washington's Governor's Race?

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There was a time late last year when Washington's governor's race was considered "the most competitive" contest in the nation. Not any longer, according to Politico's final 2011 gubernatorial ranking. And that's due to state Attorney General Rob McKenna, who Politico writes, has the "genuine moderate sheen that fits the state at the moment."

The online publication, a favorite among the political junkie set, goes on to cite the obvious as to why Democrat Rep. Jay Inslee could face tough sledding: an unfavorable view of outgoing Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire "and the trappings of Washington."

"Another telling indicator that Inslee's behind: He was the first to raise the debate question, calling for a half a dozen showdowns next year (in 2012)."

All of this, of course, needs to be taken with a large grain of salt, considering that Politico wrongly states that Inslee has never waged a statewide race. The Bainbridge Island Democrat ran for governor in 1996, finishing a distant third in the primary behind Gary Locke and former Seattle mayor Norm Rice.

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