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McKenna, Inslee neck and neck in gubernatorial race

June 18, 2012

Washington’s gubernatorial race between Republican Rob McKenna and Democrat Jay Inslee has narrowed to two points — advantage McKenna. So says pollster Stuart Elway, who has been tracking the race for months.

Elway Research contacted 408 voters statewide June 13-16 and found 42 percent of those surveyed are inclined to vote for McKenna, while 40 percent favor Inslee. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 points.

An earlier poll by Elway in February showed a nine-point difference — with McKenna comfortably out in front, 45 percent to Inslee’s 36 percent.

Why is the gap closing? Not clear.

Elway says, “Washington state tilts Democratic. As Inslee becomes better known as the Democratic candidate, his support will naturally rise.”

The poll tried to determine which issues favor either candidate. McKenna’s advantages were in managing government and the economy. Health care, women’s issues and the environment were positive issues for Inslee.

The candidates were virtually tied on education.