First Debate May Leave First Impression With Voters

Jun 13, 2012

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 3.5 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.

David Nice: “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 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.

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network

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