SEATTLE — Gov. Jay Inslee’s disapproval rating is now higher than his approval rating, according to WA Poll results released Friday.
Numbers gathered between July 6-10 show Inslee’s approval rating has fallen to 47%, while his disapproval rating rose to 49%.
The WA Poll was commissioned by KING 5, The Seattle Times, University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public and Washington State University’s Murrow College of Communication and conducted by SurveyUSA.
Approval and disapproval of the governor’s performance intensified along party lines since a previous poll was commissioned by KING 5. Democratic approval of Inslee jumped from 77% in November 2021 to 81%. Republican disapproval of the governor ballooned to 83%, whereas GOP disapproval previously hovered between 71% and 75% in several polls taken last year. Independent voter disapproval rose to 61% in 2022, up from 49% in 2021.
Scott McClellan, KING 5 political analyst and former White House press secretary for George W. Bush, linked Inslee’s approval rating to the “national mood of voters,” rising inflation and approval ratings for President Joe Biden.
McClellan also noted Inslee’s decisions related to the COVID-19 pandemic sparked strong reactions.
“We know that steps he took to, what he believed was protecting Washingtonians during the pandemic have certainly had an impact… Some people have been happy with [his decisions], some people have not been happy with them,” McClellan said. “And so it’s generated some passion on both sides, for those that support them as well as those that oppose them.”
Former Washington governor, U.S. Commerce Secretary under the Obama administration and KING 5 Political Analyst Gary Locke noted COVID fatigue and voter frustrations over crime, homelessness, and rising prices may be culminating in Inslee’s lower approval rating.
“It’s very tough for any person to address these issues," Locke said. "Oftentimes, many of which are beyond their control, certainly at the local or state level, but nonetheless, the voters take it out on their elected officials. They have high expectations, as they should. It’s a sobering reminder to elected officials to really try to speak to the issues that are of concern to everyday people.”
At the national level, President Joe Biden’s approval rating has also fallen. The WA Poll shows just 43% of Washington voters approve of the job Biden is doing as president, while 53% disapprove. Around 4% are unsure how they feel about Biden’s job as president.
Biden’s approval rating is five percentage points lower than when Washington voters were polled in November 2021. Democratic approval improved by one percentage point to 79% in 2022. However, Republican disapproval has increased, with 91% disapproving of Biden, up significantly from 78% in 2021.
The WA Poll was commissioned by KING 5, The Seattle Times, University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public and Washington State University’s Murrow College of Communication and was conducted by SurveyUSA. It surveyed 825 adults from July 6-10, 2022. Of those adults, 731 were registered voters. The poll represented the demographics of Washington state with 47% from the metro Seattle area, 32% from western Washington and 21% from eastern Washington.
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