A new Elway poll has Washington state AG Rob McKenna leading former WA-1 Congressman Jay Inslee, 47% to 45%. The poll comes on the heelsof a Strategies 360 poll showing the race tied up. The Elway poll surveyed 451 likely voters (4.5 MOE) from 18 Oct to 21 Oct.
A Monte Carlo analysis employing a million simulated elections, based only on the responses to this poll, gives McKenna wins 617,196 times and Inslee wins 369,576 times. The analysis suggests that, if the election was held today, McKenna would win with a 62.5% probability and Inslee would win with a 37.5% probability. Here is the distribution of election outcomes:
The Ave: If this comes to pass and Obama wins, McKenna will be in an awesome position. The WA state Dems are a conservative crowd likely to work well with a moderate Republican. Like NIxon, McKenna could be in a position to use his Republican credentials to do things a Democrat could not do, This is especially true for school reform.
As one example, McKenna might be able to really reform the public schools. The last several days I have received several robo calls dissing charter schools. These robo messages all have the same set of lies about charters .. basically that they drain money from the public schools and that charters do not work. These messages are pure bull shit.
Charters ARE public schools. The main differences from traditional public schools, is that charters are LOCALLY administrated by parents and teachers rather than by the central administration. The Charters offer choices for how parentc an have THEIR kids educated.
Charters do work .. not all of them, but that is the beauty of choice. The idea is that competition, WITHIN the public schools will drive quality.
If this such a good idea, who is opposed? The unions are opposed because Charters are not bound by the work rules that govern and restrict school districts. On core Union issues, however, Charters can be bound by pay rules that bind other employment of teachers. For example, the union does not allow special pay for teachers with special knowledge in sciecne, a Charter can fix this.
So how does this effect how McKenna would govern? Charters are not really a Republican issue. President Obama and Secretary Duncan have implemented them now in all but a few states … our being among those where unions have resisted this simple idea. It is not hard to see a Governor McKenna working with President Obama on this issue.
So why do I still support Jay Inslee? I doubt very much that Jay is opposed to Charters. His stand reflects the need for Teacher Union support. McKenna has a bigger problem .. he carries the Tea Party stench. The reality shows up in McKenna’s stance on tax reform. Without reforming our tax code, WA state can not fix anything .. charter schools included.