Gubernatorial candidates Rob McKenna and Jay Inslee remain in a tight race that sees Inslee with a small lead among registered and likely voters, and the statewide ballot measures are all leading by double-digit margins, according to the latest KCTS 9 Washington Poll, which was conducted by the University of Washington.
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According to the poll, McKenna leads Inslee in the eastern part of the state, 56.6 percent to 30.6 percent, but Inslee has a lead over McKenna in the Puget Sound, 53.9 percent to 41.5 percent and in the western part of the state in general, 46.6 percent to 44.4 percent. The lead is within the poll's margin of error.
President Barack Obama also has a 20 percentage point lead ahead of Republican challenger Mitt Romney, according to the poll.
The public TV station has provided all the details of the poll, plus plenty of detail about how the poll was conducted and a breakdown of poll results by subcategories, on the KCTS 9 Vote 2012 website.Candidate Registered Voters Likely Voters Governor Inslee 47.2% 48.7% McKenna 45.5% 45.6% Senator Baumgartner 31.6% 33.3% Cantwell 59.4% 60.8% Attorney General Dunn 32.4% 34.0% Ferguson 44.2% 44.9% President Obama 56.4% 57.1% Romney 35.9% 36.4% Ballot Measures
Referendum 74 (Gay Marriage) Yes 57.3% 57.9% No 36.2% 36.9% Initiative 1185 (Supermajority Tax Requirement) Yes 53.0% 52.0% No 34.2% 36.8% Initiative 1240 (Charter Schools) Yes 55.3% 55.5% No 36.4% 37.5% Initiative 502 (Decriminalizing Marijuana) Yes 55.8% 55.4% No 36.7% 37.6%
A third of Washington voters have already sent in their ballots, and a majority of those voters favored Obama (59.9 percent) and Inslee (51.2 percent), according to KCTS's results, possibly caused by a strong nationwide early get-out-the-vote effot by Democrats nationwide, said Matt Barreto, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Washington.
The poll also took into account people who may have lied about opposition to Referendum 74, according to Barreto, by moving some undecideds into the "no" column if they reported having discomfort with sexual minorities, a high level of religiosity, conservative views or people who wanted to give sexual minorities "some" rights.
Barreto said that some may have declined to state that they were against Referendum 74 because of perceptions that it is more socially acceptable to support it than to not support it.
The poll was conducted between Oct. 18 to 31. A total of 722 registered voters and 632 likely votersthroughout the state of Washington were interviewed, yielding a 3.6 percent and 3.9 percent margin of error respectively, according to KCTS.