OLYMPIA, Wash. - The campaigns for Washington governor are heading into the dog days of summer now that the candidates survived their first, formal debate. That means a return to fundraising and retail level campaigning.
Polls show Washington’s race for governor is close. According to Real Clear Politics, Republican Rob McKenna averages just a three-and-a-half point advantage over Democrat Jay Inslee.
This week’s debate in Spokane between the two candidates could help Inslee with statewide name recognition. The former Congressman is up against a well known two-term Attorney General.
David Nice teaches politics at Washington State University. He says an early debate can also plant a seed with voters.
“This may be the start of people developing an impression that one of them seems like a good choice or one of them doesn’t," Nice says. "And that will be vague but it will be affected a lot by what comes after.”
Neither candidate faces a strong primary challenge in August. So Nice expects McKenna and Inslee will now return to behind-the-scenes fundraising, plus trips around the state to shore-up their respective political bases.
The next round of headlines in this race may come when the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the Affordable Care Act -– a law McKenna is challenging as Attorney General.
On the Web:
Washington Primary Voters Guide:
Wash. gubernatorial debate:
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