Spin Control

Big surprise: Obama endorses Inslee

Democrat Jay Inslee's gubernatorial campaign is all aglow today with President Barack Obama's endorsement of their guy.

Wait a minute. Hasn't Obama been a fan of Inslee's all along. Didn't he wish him well last spring in marking Inslee's departure from Congress to campaign full-time? Didn't he say nice things about Inslee during his May stop at the Paramount Theater in Seattle? 

Yes, but -

"He's been supportive but hasn't officially endorsed," Inslee campaign spokeswoman Jaime Smith said. "Obama is a very popular figure here, so obviously we're excited to use this."

The most recent statewide poll we could find, which was the SurveyUSA poll from the beginning of August, had Obama over Romney 54 percent to 37 percent.

In ticket-splitting Washington, some of that popularity might not carry down the ballot into the governor's race. In 2008, Obama beat John McCain by 17 points, but incumbent Gov. Chris Gregoire beat Republican Dino Rossi by 6.5 points. In 2004, John Kerry beat President George W. Bush by 7 points, but Gregoire beat Rossi by .0047 points, after two recounts and a court case.




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Jim Camden
Jim Camden is the Olympia bureau chief, covering the Legislature and state government. He also is a political columnist and blogger for Spin Control.

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