A new Elway Poll of registered voters in Washington state finds that Governor Jay Inslee's positive job performance rating has improved since the most recent similar Elway Poll in June, but that a plurality of voters (50 percent) still say his performance has been "poor" (11 percent) or "only fair" (39 percent). Four percent said Inslee's performance as governor has been "excellent," and 41 percent rated it "good."
On specific questions, voters tended to be more negative. More than half—51 percent—said he had done a poor job providing leadership to the legislature, not surprising given that it took the legislature three special sessions to pass a budget, and the fact that they still haven't passed a transportation funding package. An identical proportion of voters gave Inslee low marks for "articulating a vision for the future of the state," and 52 percent now say they think he's done a poor or only fair job "managing state government," a loss of 6 percent from the June polling numbers.
Although Inslee's numbers may seem grim, they're better than those of his predecessor, Chris Gregoire, at the same point in her first term in office; Gregoire's positive rating was just 40 percent, and her negative rating was 55 percent.
The last time a majority of voters in The Elway Poll gave a governor positive job performance ratings was June 2008—just before the start of the Great Recession—when Gregoire was governor.
Overall, Inslee got the highest ratings from Democrats (66 percent positive), public employees (55 percent) and women (52 percent). He got the lowest ratings from Republicans (67 percent negative), business owners (60 percent) and self-identified "independents" (58 percent).
We imagine if they'd specifically polled Boeing machinists, who felt Inslee butted into their business by pushing for a vote on Boeing's second offer (they approved it 51-49 in a vote that tore apart the union and did away with defined pensions), Inslee's numbers would be even worse.