KING 5 Poll: Dead heat in WA governor race

Credit: KING

Washington state Attorney General Rob McKenna (R), left, and former U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee (D) at a debate last month in Spokane.

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by ROBERT MAK / KING 5 News

kgw.com

Posted on July 19, 2012 at 9:54 AM

A new KING 5 poll finds the race to be Washington's next governor couldn't be closer.

In a survey of 630 registered voters statewide, 42 percent said if the election were held today, they would vote for Republican Rob McKenna, while 41 percent said they would choose Democrat Jay Inslee. Sixteen percent of respondents were undecided. 

Other key results:

--Depth of support: McKenna's numbers are down from KING 5's polling several months ago, but the depth of his support is still stronger than Inslee's.  The survey found 72 percent of McKenna's supporters describe themselves as enthusiastic vs. 58 percent of Inslee's.

--Health care reform: The is the first KING 5 poll since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the national health care reform law found little fallout from McKenna's decision to join other states in challenging the constitutionality of the law. Thirty-nine percent of respondents said McKenna's stance makes them more likely to support him this fall, while 38 percent said it would have the opposite effect. Nineteen percent  said the issue would make no difference in determining their vote.

--Gender gap: McKenna does better among men (47 percent to 36 percent for Inslee), while Inslee does better among women (47 percent to 38 percent for McKenna).

--Strong suits:  Washington voters believe McKenna would do a better job managing the state budget (43 percent vs. 32 percent for Inslee).  But it's now a draw on education, with 34 percent saying McKenna would be stronger, compared with 35 percent who believe Inslee would be stronger on education.

--Top of the ticket: A KING 5 poll conducted in May showed President Obama leading Republican Mitt Romney in Washington state by 14 points.  But our July numbers show that lead is down slightly, with Obama leading 46 percent to 37 percent.

SurveyUSA conducted the poll with both landlines and cell phones.  The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.

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