McKenna's strategy may already be working. The survey shows that Democrats are less enthusiastic about Inslee than Republicans are about McKenna, with 93% of Republicans saying they will support McKenna in November, compared to only 82% of Democrats reporting that they intend to back Inslee. Eight percent of those Democrats already say they will support McKenna, while 11 percent remain undecided.
The poll also shows a widening gender gap between McKenna and Inslee supporters, with Inslee holding a 19-point advantage with females voters, while McKenna has a 15-point edge with men. Both men were within 5 points of one another with both genders in Elway's June poll. The jump could be attributed to Inslee's attempts to tie McKenna to the "war on women" national Democrats have been pushing in recent months. To combat the narrative, McKenna released a new 30-second ad this week, touting his work to combat sexual and domestic violence as attorney general and promising to "continue to protect Washington women's and children" as governor. The ad also features McKenna's two daughters, who have appeared frequently, along with his wife and two sons, in his previous ads.
The race has attracted a lot of national attention, with Democratic and Republican groups pouring over $10 million into the contest so far. Outside groups on both sides began airing ads this month and neither shows any signs of slowing, particularly if the race remains this close. Inslee and McKenna have each raised over $8.5 million so far, according to finance reports released this week, making the race one of the most expensive in the country.
The poll was conducted September 9-12 by Seattle-based Elway Research, surveying 405 registered voters. The margin of error is plus-or-minus 5 percentage points. Some details from the poll were first reported on Friday by the Seattle Times.