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Gov. Jay Inslee
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New gubernatorial poll shows Inslee widening lead over GOP challengers

The latest polling for Washington’s gubernatorial race shows incumbent Jay Inslee continuing to hold a wide lead over each of his main Republican opponents.

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The KING 5/SurveyUSA poll surveyed a “cross-section” of 675 Washington adults online with questions from KING 5’s editorial staff, asking them who they’d vote for in head-to-head matchups between Inslee and each of the six leading GOP challengers. Of the total respondents, 555 were registered voters.

Matched up against anti-tax activist Tim Eyman, Inslee led 62% to 31%, a 2% increase for the governor since the last SurveyUSA poll taking in late May. Against late-surging Tri-Cities physician Dr. Raul Garcia, Inslee led 60% to 32%. Garcia wasn’t included in the previous poll.

The gap between Inslee and both Republican Sheriff Loren Culp and state Sen. Phil Fortunato sat at 61% to 32%, respectively, an increase of 5% for Inslee in both races since May’s poll. Pitted against former Bothell Mayor Joshua Freed, the governor opened up a 60% to 31% lead, an increase of 4%.

KING 5’s poll also asked respondents how they planned to vote in the November presidential election; 62% said they intended to vote for Joe Biden, while 28% chose incumbent President Donald Trump. According to SurveyUSA’s data, Trump is polling worse in Washington state than any other Republican presidential candidate in 108 years.

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If this polling translates to November’s results, it would represent Gov. Inslee’s largest margin of victory since taking office. In 2012, he edged out former state Attorney General Rob McKenna 51% to 48%. He won reelection in 2016 over challenger Bill Bryant by a 54% to 45% margin.

A recent Crosscut/Elway poll looking to predict the results of the August primary had Inslee garnering 46% of the vote among 402 respondents, with the next highest total held by Culp at 14%, followed by Garcia at 6%. Trailing close behind in order were Freed (5%), Eyman (4%), and Fortunato (2%). Combined, votes for Republican candidates comprised 31% of responses in Crosscut’s poll, a number roughly in line with the head-to-head matchups played out by SurveyUSA.

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