According to the latest non-partisan Elway Poll released Wednesday, Washington Governor Jay Inslee leads his top Republican challenger by nine points. Pollster Stuart Elway said a nine point race at this early stage seems like a tight race.
“For an incumbent governor versus a candidate that nobody knows,” he said.
That other candidate, Bill Bryant, is a Port of Seattle commissioner. The poll shows Inslee with 39 percent of voters’ support to Bryant’s 30 percent with nearly a third undecided. The poll has a 4.5 percent margin of error.
“Thirty-nine percent is not where an incumbent wants to be, so there is some vulnerability there,” Elway said.
But Elway added that Inslee still has a “structural advantage” going into 2016. Washington hasn’t elected a Republican governor since 1980 and there are “many more” Democrats in Washington than Republicans. And Inslee is out-raising Bryant by a better than four-to-one margin.
Democrats said a nine-point lead is a strong position for re-election. The Bryant campaign said the poll is evidence Inslee is vulnerable.