Hella Bus Blog
Public Policy Polling released a Washington State poll last week covering voter's feelings on the upcoming November elections.
Of the salient statistics, Rob McKenna leads Jay Inslee 43%-40% for the gubernatorial election, Gay Marriage is supported by 51% of likely voters and opposed by only 42%, and Washington's Marijuana Initiative is supported 50% to 37%.
Also, no one cares about the NBA finals.
Voters age 18-29 currently favor McKenna over Inslee 41 to 37%, leading Goldy over at The Stranger to decry "Young Voters Are Stupid!" As evidence, Goldy points to McKenna's opposition to gay marriage and Initiative 502, the marijuana legalization initiative, both of which are overwhelmingly supported by the same young voters.
Young Voters Do Like Bad Puns.
For example, neither candidate has a reasonable plan to handle ballooning tuition rates or unmanageable student loan debt. While both men pay aggressive lip service to "funding education", their illusory budget promises come across about as sincere as Rick Santorum claiming to have gay friends.
And Inslee breaks with young voters (and Democrats) in his opposition to Initiative 502.
Now, McKenna's lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act could easily hurt him if younger voters are kicked off their parent's health insurance come November. We'll find out how badly when the Supreme Court releases its ruling Thursday.
But we're still months away and 1 in 5 young adults have yet to pick a horse in this race. In a presidential election year with two big ticket initiatives likely to galvanize youth voters, the onus is on both of the candidates to give us a reason to vote for them.
There's still time.
Yesterday the first gubernatorial debate was held between Attorney General Rob McKenna and Congressman Jay Inslee.
This was no knee-slapping hootenanny like the Republican Presidential Primaries. Both candidates did their best to stay on message and do as little as they could to differentiate themselves from each other.
Beyond the usual partisan bickering, the meat of the debate centered on revenue. When asked how they planned to respond to the state Supreme Court's finding that our schools are chronically underfunded, both failed the most rudimentary of math challenges.
Rather than raise taxes, Inslee proposed "a different avenue, which is job creation." Sure hope his job plan includes hiring some teachers. Oh wait...
McKenna on the other hand promised to fully fund our schools with an old-fashioned shell game.
"There are five places we can look for more money," McKenna told the audience. "Squeezing the existing budget, closing tax loopholes, using more of the new revenues for education, and re-purposing existing spending."
What both men are failing to do is acknowledge the heavy structural deficit affecting Washington State. Even with Inslee's optimistic job growth Washington State will hit another 1.6 billion dollar shortfall. And McKenna can say he wants to simply move money around, but there isn't much more we can cut.
Republican McKenna even ended up coming out on the left of Inslee on transportation taxes. When asked when voters should be asked to increase taxes for Washington's much needed transportation infrastructure, McKenna solidly said 2013 or 2014. Inslee was unable to give an answer, instead saying " The right time is when we regain the trust of voters. That's not a calendar date."
And that's not an answer.
Full video after the jump.