SurveyUSA: Merkley 44, Smith 42.

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

In the latest poll from SurveyUSA and KATU, Jeff Merkley leads 44% to 42% -- a 14-point swing from seven weeks ago. Some details:

Among men, Smith led by 16 in August, trails by 7 today. In greater Portland, Smith led by 11 points in August, trails by 6 points today. Among voters under age 50, Smith led by 11 points in August, trails by 8 today. Among Moderates, Smith led by 4 points in August, trails by 7 points today. Among those who have not graduated from college, Smith led by 13 in August, trails by 3 today. Among lower income voters, Smith led by 6 points in August, trails by 6 points today.

But make no mistake. This is still the closest race in the country. compiles all the available polls, and assembles a trend analysis. For the first time, Merkley has taken the lead -- but only by one-tenth of one-percent.

Now's the time: Donate to Jeff Merkley. Volunteer for Jeff Merkley. Host a house party for Jeff Merkley.

Here's the latest Senate race ranking, with numbers compiled from

RankSept 22StateDemocrat%Republican%margin
1 1ORMerkley42.3Smith42.2+0.10
2 2NCHagan43.1Dole42.3+0.80
3 3AKBegich48.3Stevens45.5+2.80
4 4MNFranken41.3Coleman45.1-3.80
5 5COM. Udall44.7Schaeffer39.2+5.50
5 8NHShaheen49.4Sununu43.9+5.50
7 6MS-BMusgrove42.4Wicker49.6-7.20
8 7NJLautenberg47.6Zimmer39.1+8.50
9 11KYLunsford38.8McConnell50.1-11.30
10 9TXNoriega38.1Cornyn51.8-13.70
11 10NMT. Udall55.1Pearce41.4+13.70
12 15SCConley37.8Graham52.8-15.00
13 12LALandrieu56.0Kennedy40.8+15.20
14 14GAMartin36.6Chambliss52.3-15.70
15 13MEAllen39.6Collins55.7-16.10
16 16IAHarkin56.8C. Reed38.4+18.40
17 17OKRice36.3Inhofe55.2-18.90
18 24KSSlattery36.2Roberts56.8-20.60
19 18IDLaRocco31.8Risch52.5-20.70
20 19ILDurbin57.6Sauerberg35.3+22.30
21 20NEKleeb35.4Johanns58.5-23.10
22 21MILevin56.2Hoogendyk32.8+23.40
23 23MS-AFleming33.5Cochran58.5-25.00
24 22VAWarner57.9Gilmore32.3+25.60
25 25MAKerry57.0Beatty29.3+27.70
26 26SDJohnson61.3Dykstra32.4+28.90
27 27TNTuke29.2Alexander59.3-30.10
28 28ALFigures30.7Sessions60.9-30.20
29 29MTBaucus64.0Kelleher31.0+33.00
30 30RIJ. Reed72.0Tingle20.0+52.00

  • (Show?)

    [Full disclosure: My firm built Jeff Merkley's website, but I speak only for myself.]

  • (Show?)

    I think there's something to be said about Obama's potential coattails in this race....

    Around this point in 2004, Kerry was up by about 4. Now, Obama is up by 9, and there are over 100,000 new Democrats in the state

    I was talking with a friend today and it struck both of us how there were a couple of houses in our neighborhoods, and several cars a day, which, in 2000 and 2004, had Bush signs or bumperstickers. Aside from one of each, I've seen very, very little presence of McCain, unless we get out into more rural areas.

    I think it's possible that we see a historic level of Democratic turnout this time around...

  • (Show?)

    Of what importance is being "the closest race?" I'm not sure that's an appropriate conclusion in any case, given that it's just a weighted (I presume) average of polls. What "closest" means in that context is simply "least volatile" or perhaps "equally extreme," such that wide variances on each side (eg, one poll with Smith up big and one with Merkley up big) cancel each other out. Or perhaps more likely, that previous polling is cancelled out by current polling. In a Presidential race there's enough contemporaneous polling to have an average mean something, but with just a few polls total on this race since the primary, it's entirely unclear what it means to be "close."

    I still enjoy how when the Republican is ahead within the MoE it's "tied," but when the Democrat is ahead within the MoE the Democrat "leads."

  • matt (unverified)

    I think this Oregon Senate race is close but in all honesty Survey USA has been, put nicely, very very wrong in the past.

    Campaign internals are usually spot on and clearly Gordo has polling saying things are close which is evidenced by the fact he has gone so negative so early.

    I just cut a $50 check to Speaker Merkley today. I hope all of you do the same.

  • (Show?)

    "in all honesty Survey USA has been, put nicely, very very wrong in the past."

    Actually they've been one of the best pollsters this cycle...?

  • MaryBeth (unverified)

    I would expect nearly $20 million in negative ads slamming Smith to have a major impact on the numbers. At this point the DSCC and other out of state groups have a major $$$ advantage over Smith (unless he sells his golf clubs). I think we can just buy this thing with out of state interest group money! It sure makes me proud.

  • (Show?)

    Research 2000 for Daily Kos. 9/22-24. Likely voters. MoE 4%

    Merkley (D) 45 Smith (R) 40

  • (Show?)

    Hey Marybeth.

    Have you heard of Freedom's Watch? You know, the consortium of Bushies and billionaires, Likud Party supporters all, who are spending tens of thousands a week right now on anti-Merkley ads.

    Do the Google and write a check to Jeff.........

  • ColumbiaDuck (unverified)


    I don't think you have to worry about MaryBeth writing a check for Jeff. She's using a fake inflated number preferred by good Gordon stooges everywhere.

    But you are right about Freedom's Watch - and I'm thinking that they are spending more than "tens of thousands" - try "hundreds of thousands".

  • (Show?)

    Here's an ordering related to prospects for strengthening the D majority in the Senate:

    11 NM T. Udall 55.1 Pearce 41.4

    5 CO M. Udall 44.7 Schaeffer 39.2

    5 NH Shaheen 49.4 Sununu 43.9

    3 AK Begich 48.3 Stevens 45.5

    2 NC Hagan 43.1 Dole 42.3

    1 OR Merkley 42.3 Smith 42.2

    4 MN Franken 41.3 Coleman 45.1

    7 MS-B Musgrove 42.4 Wicker 49.6

    9 KY Lunsford 38.8 McConnell 50.1

    10 TX Noriega 38.1 Cornyn 51.8

    Hagan's strength against Dole in NC is impressive.

  • Larry McD (unverified)

    Well, I guess the $600+ I've distributed among Allen, Kleeb, Noriega, and Rice was quixotic (like the money I gave Steve) but I can't say I'm sorry I spent any of it.

    At least my hundred for Hagan looks like it went to a winner.

  • (Show?)

    TJ asked Of what importance is being "the closest race?"

    Well, for starters, it tells the netroots where a small amount of involvement could make the biggest difference. The typical pundit ranking, based on "most likely to flip", is only interesting to D.C. lobbyists trying to figure out where to invest. Yeah, Mark Warner's going to win, we get it, who cares? (And note that it's such a foregone conclusion that Chris Lowe, above, forgot to include it in his "most likely to flip" ranking.)

    I explain in further detail over at Swing State Project.

connect with blueoregon