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Inslee holds big poll lead, Bryant says 'no' on Trump

Governor Jay Inslee.
Flickr Photo/GovInslee (CC-BY-NC-ND)
Governor Jay Inslee.

A new poll out this week shows incumbent Jay Inslee with a big lead over challenger Bill Bryant in the battle for the Washington governor’s office.

But Bryant made some news too: He said he wouldn’t vote for fellow Republican Donald Trump.

The statewide Elway Poll shows Inslee with a commanding lead, but he still can’t crack 50 percent support. He’s at 48 percent, same as in April.

"There is this sense that Jay Inslee hasn't really gelled as a strong leader,” political analyst Joni Balter told KUOW. “Everybody knows him as an upbeat guy, he's a great environmentalist. But he hasn't really run the state with a sturdy hand. So he just has to change that dynamic."

But Bryant, a former Seattle Port commissioner, got only 36 percent in the latest poll.

This week Bryant decided to shake things up and take a stand on Trump in the presidential race. 

Bryant told that he won't be voting for Trump this November (or Hillary Clinton, for that matter). Bryant’s new communications director, Jason Roe, confirmed that to KUOW.

"I think it's the right move if you are running to be the governor of Washington and you are a Republican,” Balter said. “You have to do something to tell voters that you're a different kind of Republican, and this does say that. It's a little late, but it does say that."

Inslee has been hammering Bryant on the Trump issue. Last week the Washington State Republican Party filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, alleging that the Inslee campaign violated federal law by paying for a TV ad attacking Trump.

Inslee and Bryant square off in their first debate on Wednesday in Spokane, so we’ll see what role Bryant’s stance on Trump plays in that.

As far as the presidential race is concerned, Clinton has a big lead in the Elway Poll. She's got 43 percent support to Trump's 24 percent. Sixteen percent of respondents were undecided.

Year started with KUOW: 2004