OK, I'm way behind on covering the second release of numbers from Public Policy Polling. (Previously, they gave us numbers on the presidential race and statewide offices.)
In their second release, PPP looked ahead to 2014, matching up Governor John Kitzhaber and Senator Jeff Merkley each against the same set of four possible challengers.
First, job approvals:
- Wyden: 54% approve, 27% disapprove (19% not sure)
- Kitzhaber: 45% approve, 39% disapprove (16% not sure)
- Merkley: 37% approve, 34% disapprove (29% not sure)
As PPP notes, Merkley's 29% not-sure suggests "a pretty low profile in the state." If you, like me, are a big fan of Senator Merkley, make sure you let people know. Let's not make Jeff Merkley our best-kept secret!
Second, favorables on the four possible challengers:
- Congressman Greg Walden: 27% favorable, 16% unfavorable (57% not sure)
- GOP Chairman Allen Alley: 18% favorable, 15% unfavorable (68% not sure)
- Speaker Bruce Hanna: 9% favorable, 11% unfavorable (80% not sure)
- Senator Jason Atkinson: 8% favorable, 9% unfavorable (83% not sure)
- Kitzhaber 42%, Walden 41%
- Kitzhaber 46%, Alley 36%
- Kitzhaber 46%, Hanna 33%
- Kitzhaber 45%, Atkinson 30%
- Merkley 40%, Walden 42%
- Merkley 43%, Alley 37%
- Merkley 43%, Hanna 35%
- Merkley 43%, Atkinson 34%
The Walden numbers are fascinating. Merkley may have nearly double the "not sure" response on job approval that Kitzhaber has - that "low profile" that PPP notes - but he's only 3% behind where Kitzhaber is against Greg Walden. That suggests to me that the partisan sideboards on the electorate are pretty strong, and that while Walden might make either campaign a race, it's likely that Oregonians would revert to type and support the Democrat, barring catastrophe.
PPP has made crosstabs available as well (pdf). What are you seeing?