Despite some recent controversies, Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee widened his lead over GOP challenger Bill Bryant in a new poll.

Share story

Notwithstanding fallout from a prisoner-release scandal and furor over I-405 tolling, Gov. Jay Inslee has widened his lead over Republican challenger Bill Bryant, according to a new poll.

Inslee, a Democrat elected in 2012, had 48 percent support, compared with 36 percent for former Seattle port Commissioner Bryant in the statewide poll conducted over the weekend by Seattle firm Elway Research. Sixteen percent of poll respondents were undecided.

That was a larger lead for Inslee than in Elway’s January poll, which had him at 39 percent support to Bryant’s 30 percent, with 31 percent undecided.

In the three months between the surveys, the number of undecideds decreased by half, with Inslee picking up three undecided voters for every two gained by Bryant, noted longtime pollster Stuart Elway.

The poll numbers are another measure of the challenge facing Republicans in marquee statewide races. The GOP has not won a gubernatorial race here since 1980 — the longest such losing streak in the country for the party.

If state schools chief Randy Dorn enters the race as an independent, he’d likely pull more votes from Bryant, Elway’s poll found.

Dorn has been making noise about a longshot gubernatorial bid to call attention to school funding.

In a hypothetical three-way poll matchup, Dorn took just 7 percent, with Inslee dropping to 41 percent and Bryant to 26 percent, and undecideds jumping to 25 percent.

Meanwhile, Elway’s poll showed Democratic U.S. Sen. Patty Murray with 50 percent support, compared with 32 percent for GOP challenger Chris Vance, with 18 percent undecided.

In January, Murray led Vance 44-23 percent, with 33 percent undecided.

Elway’s April poll surveyed 503 registered voters from April 14-17 and had a 4.5 percent margin of error.