Up Front AM: K5 poll shows McKenna leading Inslee in governor’s race

First take on the day’s political news
from the Up Front team.

McKenna enjoys lead over Inslee:  A new KING 5 poll gives Republican Rob McKenna the edge over Democrat Jay Inslee in the race for governor in 2012.  Among 532 registered voters statewide, 44% tell SurveyUSA they’d vote for McKenna if the election were held today, while 38% say Inslee. 

McKenna’s early lead can be attributed in part to his strength in the Puget Sound area.  In King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, he’s even with Inslee at 41% each, which is significant for a Republican candidate.  As expected, McKenna picks up votes in more conservative eastern Washington with a 59%-25% advantage.  But the large population in the Metro Seattle area is key.

The poll has a margin of +/- 4.3% and includes both landline and cell phone users. Later today, we’ll have results of our polling on the state Attorney General’s race.

Change at the Top:  See our Up Front interview with Seattle Schools Superintendent Susan Enfield.  What is she changing, and does she want the job permanently?

Dueling budgets:  Both Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and King County Executive Dow Constantine deliver their budgets today—both making speeches at 11 a.m.  One would think they’d give each other some space.  Constantine may have the upper hand on getting media attention as he’s only speaking once at 11.  McGinn is actually giving two speeches, and does an encore performance to the City Council at 2 p.m. 

Constantine already announced savings in health care costs, which will provide him some cushion for his budget; McGinn’s budget reportedly will include no new hiring of police officers.  Perhaps good karma follows Dwight Dively—the finance director who moved from the City to the County a little more than a year ago.

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