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Rantz: Another devastating Jay Inslee poll shows few voters like him

Gov. Jay Inslee was in Chicago in May for a rally in front of McDonald's corporate headquarters to demand $15-per-hour wages for fast food workers. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

A second poll spells bad news for Governor Jay Inslee: we’re just not that into him. In fact, even in divisive times, more people like President Donald Trump nationally, than Washingtonians like Inslee here at home.

A KING 5/Survey USA poll shows two-term Inslee at just 41% approval among registered voters. What should be most concerning for Inslee, a shockingly high 48% of voters who identify as Independent disapprove of the governor. Inslee is asking for a third term. These numbers should devastate his campaign.

“His approval rating at the bottom of the forties is not good and… his prospects for re-election are not good,” Washington State Republican Party chairman Caleb Heimlich told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. “That is great news that shows that the voters of Washington state understand that the governor is not representing them. He’s not listening to them when it comes to $30 car tabs or other things, and his priorities are not our priorities.”

Inslee’s inaction on homelessness, disinterest in car tab fees, losing accreditation at Western State Hospital, and continuing to pursue higher taxes is finally catching up with him.

A January 2020 poll by Crosscut/Elway showed just a 40% approval rating for Inslee.

The opportunity

With Inslee polling so dismally, Republicans have a shot over the next nine months to make their case. But they’re starting from behind.

If the election were held today, Republic police chief Loren Culp would earn 5% of the vote, former Bothell Mayor Joshua Freed and State Senator Phil Fortunato (R-Auburn) earn 4%, and businessman Anton Sakharov gets 3%. Those who would vote for Inslee? Just 39%.

“That means the governor, who has a name, is well known, who’s been governor for seven years, and this is his eighth year in office, is only getting 39% of people saying I will vote for him,” Heimlich notes. “That means 61% are up for grabs.”

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To make their case to voters, all four of these Republican candidates will participate in the first-ever KTTH GOP Gubernatorial Debate at the Washington State History Museum. The debate will be broadcast on KTTH 770 AM on Monday, March 2nd at 3 p.m. during the Jason Rantz Show.

But to become a viable candidate, these Republicans must overcome independent candidate Tim Eyman.

The Eyman factor

Independent candidate Tim Eyman is well known, and 11% of those polled would vote for him for Governor if the election were held today.

But the poll indicates Eyman’s potentially polarizing with 25% of voters holding a negative view to 21% positive. Where he shines, undoubtedly due to his high profile and popular initiatives, is with independents who like him more than not. His recent push for $30 car tab fees via I-976 certainly works in his favor outside of King County. And Inslee’s refusal to fight for the initiative will likely hurt his re-election campaign.

Rantz: Inslee couldn’t answer easy question he based his entire campaign on

Eyman says he’s considering a switch to the Republican party, but it’s unclear if he’s even a Republican. Beyond a handful of topics, Eyman doesn’t seem willing to discuss his other positions. And he clearly has a history tailor-made for attack ads, from the stolen office chair saga to his high-profile bankruptcy.

Bottom line

It’s clearly too early to tell if Eyman’s candidacy has long-term viability.

And it’s too early to tell which Republican candidate’s message will pick up steam when so few people statewide have had the chance to explore the candidacies.

But it’s not too early to note how devastating these two polls are for Inslee. It certainly seems like Washington is ready to do what the entire country did when Inslee ran for President: overwhelmingly reject him.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz on Twitter.

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