September 8, 2004


Political Notebook (Jeff Mapes, September 08, 2004, The Oregonian)

A new poll of Oregon voters shows President Bush and Democratic challenger Sen. John Kerry deadlocked in the state, while a ballot measure that would ban same-sex marriage has strong support.

The poll, conducted Aug. 26 to Sept. 1 by Riley Research Associates of Portland, included 507 interviews with registered voters who said they were "very likely" to cast a ballot in the Nov. 2 election.

Pollster Michael Riley, who conducted the survey on his own and not for a client, said the "very likely" voter screen produced the best picture of people who would vote. It projected a Republican advantage in turnout, which meant the survey probably showed more support for Bush and the marriage measure than if the poll had included all registered voters. [...]

The Riley poll showed 46 percent favoring Bush and 45 percent for Kerry, well within the survey's margin of error of 4.35 percentage points. Another 6 percent were undecided, 1 percent backed independent Ralph Nader, and 2 percent refused to answer or cited other candidates.

On Measure 36, which would prohibit same-sex marriage, 61 percent said they supported the initiative, and 34 percent said they were opposed.

Numbers like that, especially on turnout, are what make the seemingly safe seat of a guy like gay marriage supporter Ron Wyden vulnerable if Senator Kerry continues to flounder. The GOP even found a more credible opponent than most of the Reagan babies were.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 8, 2004 2:08 PM

WHAT?! Then Zogby's out to lunch here. I had a hunch it was actually way closer considering the less-than 7,000 vote margin in 2000. But this is welcome news indeed. Hopefully it's sustainable momentum in the right direction.

BTW, thanks Fred & OJ. I can't bear to read "The Big 'O'" these days so wouldn't have seen this story in my own backyard.

Posted by: John Resnick at September 8, 2004 2:15 PM


The Oregonian poll I linked to in the post only had a two point lead for Kerry in May. Ignore Zogby.

Posted by: oj at September 8, 2004 2:19 PM

Looks like good news but it is only 1 poll taken during the GOP convention. Let's see if other polls back it up.
As for Zogby he continues to be more Kerry-friendly/anti-Bush in his poll numbers (a bunch of new Zogby state polls has Bush losing ground to Kerry since the convention, not to mention his no bounce for Bush poll) yet is used as the base for where the race stands. Amazing.

Posted by: AWW at September 8, 2004 2:36 PM

Once again, the Bush campaign suffers the consequences of adopting divisive wedge issues, and shows how extreme and out of touch they are.

Posted by: luciferous at September 8, 2004 2:46 PM

OJ: It's that duck paddling analogy again -- lots going on under the surface that's hard to detect. My own informal 'polling' is, of course, very skewed. But I know first hand of over 15 people (OR & WA residents) who will be voting Republican for the first time in their lives on 11/2. Hopefully that's just a micro example of a much greater trend.

Posted by: at September 8, 2004 2:46 PM

No one ever lost an election by dividing the public on a 60-40 issue.

Posted by: oj at September 8, 2004 2:54 PM

oops. that was me. (how DO you work this thing?)

Posted by: John Resnick at September 8, 2004 2:54 PM

I was just in Oregon in the beginning of August. I didn't even know Wyden was running. I saw lots of Kerry signs but I was in Portland and on the coast (Pacific City, Tillamook and Lincoln City). It is awfully hard to win statewide in Oregon as a Republican because of Portland and Eugene. I used to live in Portland in the early 1990's. I was living in NW 23rd Street and I think I was the only Republican in my neighborhood. Portland is crazy; however, thank God for Eastern Oregon, some of the suburbs and rural Oregon because they have Republicans.

Posted by: pchuck at September 8, 2004 3:05 PM

Preach it, Brother pchuck!

Posted by: John Resnick at September 8, 2004 3:18 PM

Preach it (Northern division):

Substitute Seattle/Olympia for Portland/Eugene and you've got a mirror-image in the Soviet of Washington. I think our state-wide Republican candidates (Nethercutt/Rossi) are a little stronger than Oregon this election cycle.

Posted by: TimF at September 8, 2004 6:01 PM

If the same Oregonians who voted down medical marijuana legalization last time and will vote down gay marriage this time vote for the candidate who best reflects their values, GWB will be in very good shape indeed.

Posted by: AC at September 8, 2004 8:08 PM

Wyden is an odious turd.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at September 9, 2004 12:06 AM

TimF, Nethercutt in my Badass Hall of Fame. Anyone who defeats a sitting Speaker of the House is tops in my book.

You guys in WA also had Linda Smith as a Rep. I liked her even though she was a bit of a maverick.

Posted by: pchuck at September 9, 2004 7:31 PM