With just five days to go, Rep. Jay Inslee continues to hold a razor-thin lead over Attorney General Rob McKenna in the race governor. A new statewide poll released today also shows both gay marriage and legalizing marijuana ahead by relatively comfortable margins.
The KCTS Washington Poll (click here to review the poll in its entirety), which conducted live interviews from Oct. 18 through Oct. 31-- via both land line and cell phone -- with 722 registered voters and 632 likely voters, has Inslee leading 47.2 percent to McKenna's 45.5 percent among registered voters. Among likely voters, the Bainbridge Democrat does slightly better, leading 48.7 percent to 45.6 percent.
In the governor's contest, the margin of error is 3.6 percent among registered voters, and 3.9 percent among likely voters.
"I get very jumpy when elections are this close."
The poll noted that 33 percent of those surveyed have already mailed their ballots, and of those who have voted, 51.3 percent said they cast their vote for Inslee, and 47.8 percent for McKenna.
Independent voters, however, offer the McKenna camp a reason to be optimistic, as he has a 21 point lead over Inslee.
McKenna, the poll showed, is scoring 41.5 percent among voters in the Puget Sound region, a few percentage points shy of what most political analysts say it takes for a Republican to win a statewide race.
At the same time, President Obama has surged to a 20 point lead over Mitt Romney in Washington state (56 percent to 36 percent) -- further proof that many Washingtonians have already or will be voting a split ticket. It remains to be seen what kind of coattail effect Obama winning big here might have on Inslee's candidacy.
Unsurprisingly, Sen, Maria Cantwell appears well on the way to winning a third term, leading GOP challenger Michael Baumgartner by 27 points among likely voters.
In the race for state attorney general, which has become bruising battle in recent weeks, Democrat Bob Ferguson has a 12 point lead among registered voters, and a 9 point lead of those who describe themselves as likely voters, according to the Washington Poll.
Finally, the charter schools Initiative 1240 is also leading by about a 17 point margin, while Tim Eyman Initiative 1185 enjoys a 14 point lead.