The Washington gubernatorial race is neck-and-neck, with Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna inching in front of former Democratic Rep. Jay Inslee, according to a new Elway poll released Wednesday afternoon.
McKenna holds a two-point lead over Inslee, 47 percent to 45 percent, the poll shows. That is well within the margin of error of plus-or-minus 4.5 percentage points. Just eight percent of voters remain undecided.
This is the Elway Poll's first look at the race among voters considered likely to cast ballots in the election. The findings represent a 6-point leap for McKenna from his showing among registered voters in a September Elway poll that showed him trailing Inslee, 41 percent to 44 percent.
McKenna's campaign has argued for months that their internal data showed the Republican besting Inslee, as he fights to become the first member of his party to occupy the Governor's Mansion since John Spellman left office in 1985.
Ballots were mailed out to voters last week, around the time the poll was conducted, an encouraging sign for McKenna. Washington State votes entirely by mail.
The poll was conducted October 18-21 by Seattle-based Elway Research, surveying 451 likely voters. The margin of error is plus-or-minus 4.5 percentage points.