The latest Elway Poll shows Democrat Jay Inslee gaining on Republican Rob McKenna in the governor's race—and doing so "despite a higher proportion of Republican voters in this month’s sample."
The current numbers: McKenna 42, Inslee 40 (with 18 percent of respondents undecided and a +/- 5 percent margin of error).
Elway's takeaway: "The race for Governor may be a contest after all."
My takeaway: Looks like Insee's people, and his supporters, may have been right back in March when they cautioned against getting overly alarmed at Inslee's then-lagging poll numbers. "All that carping that you've been hearing is hugely overstated and premature," said one. "Your typical voter has not even begun to pay attention. This race is still totally fluid... All these people running around acting like the sky is falling need to chill for a bit and let Inslee make his case."
As Inslee's begun to make his case, most recently with an impressive debate performance against McKenna in Spokane, he's started to do better against McKenna on issues that will continue to be important going into the fall:
Inslee was seen as better on health care, an advantage he hopes to press since McKenna joined the Supreme Court case to overturn the Affordable Care Act. He was also rated significantly better on the environment, his signature issue, and issues important to women.
The two were essentially tied on the issue of education, which both candidates have put front and center in their campaigns.