Inslee, despite resigning his House seat after being elected to his seventh term in 2010, is little-known in the state. A majority of likely voters, 52 percent, say they are unfamiliar with Inslee or have no opinion of him. McKenna has a little more name identification, and it is a positive for his campaign: 37 percent of likely voters have a favorable opinion of him, compared to 19 percent who have an unfavorable opinion. Forty-two percent of likely voters are unfamiliar with him or have no opinion.
Inslee and McKenna are vying to succeed Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire, whose legacy after two terms in Olympia is mixed: Likely voters are split on her favorability (44 percent favorable, 44 percent unfavorable). Thirty-eight percent of likely voters believe the state is headed in the right direction, compared to 44 percent who think the state is on the wrong track.
McKenna faces some likely headwinds at the top of the ticket, the poll shows. President Obama leads Mitt Romney among likely Washington State voters, 51 percent to 40 percent.
The poll was conducted May 22-24, surveying 500 likely voters.