Rasmussen Poll: Kulongoski, Saxton dead even

Rasmussen Reports has finally released the results of its first post-primary gubernatorial poll:

Conducted the night after the primary elections , the latest Rasmussen Reports election poll of the race for Oregon Governor shows Democratic incumbent Ted Kulongoski narrowly leading Republican challenger Ron Saxton 43% to 41%.

Ben Westlund wasn't included, but 7% of the respondents volunteered that they're voting for someone else. 10% undecided.

Oregonian political reporter Jeff Mapes posted this reaction from the campaigns on his blog:

Rasmussen's polling method has come under criticism and Kulongoski's campaign manager, Cameron Johnson, said he didn't take much stock in the survey. Felix Schein, Saxton's campaign manager, said he wasn't sure of the poll, but he added: "It's probably true it's a tight race."


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    Wonder how fast the members of PERS will begin campaigning for Kulongoski now that they're faced with Saxton or Westlund, who will insist they pick up more of their own health insurance costs while slashing their retirement benefits?

  • LT (unverified)

    Paulie, A word to the wise:

    After a primary, the supporters of the primary winner who say to those who didn't support their candidate, "This is why I support the nominee, and I will be glad to answer your questions" are historically more successful in gaining support than those supporters of the primary winner whose attitude is "Our candidate is great, their candidate is awful, you should support our candidate without asking questions or the other awful guy will win".

    It has not been proven that Ben Westlund would slash PERS the way Saxton proposes (and Westlund is actually out talking engaging in dialogue with ordinary folks).

    And even if Ben Westlund did not exist, my experience in 3 decades of campaigns is that if , "well, maybe I'll vote for your candidate, but there is no way I will volunteer to be around people with your attitude".

    But then, maybe there are some Ted supporters who are willing to spend every spare moment of their own campaigning, and if anyone doesn't think he is the greatest thing since sliced bread, they don't need that person's vote.

    54% of the vote in a low turnout primary is not what most wise people would consider such a strong showing that the nominee's supporters can afford to alienate anyone who wants to ask their candidate a question.

    Put another way, ASKING for votes is generally more effective than demanding votes.

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    LT - can you stop with your one-trick pony nonsense?

    Everyone's heard it. We all get it. Candidates need to ask for your support, and not assume that they'll get it. Fine. You've made your point. Over and over and over and over and over.

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    I've been reading this blog pretty regularly for a couple months, and LT's point seems relevant and fresh to me.

    What's the problem with it?


  • LT (unverified)

    Thank you Pete.

    If we go a whole election cycle without any campaign saying "we won the primary, you owe us your vote", I can stop being a "one trick pony".

    I think this is a high stakes election. I don't think Paulie's remark gained Ted any votes, and anyone who supports Ted should be concerned about that.

    (BTW, I am not convinced all Republicans will go out and campaign for Saxton if they didn't vote for him in the primary---this was not aimed at any one particular candidate. The tone of the primary season was nasty--why would people want to involve themselves in something like that?)

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    I remember from the Presidential Election of 2004 that Rasmussen is a rather partisan polling firm that seems to inflate R numbers. Though all polls have ideological slants no matter how 'objective' one ought to be, Rasmussen's poll should be taken with a grain of salt due to its outright connection with the Republican party.

    That being said, I'd believe these numbers.

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    Pete & LT, there's nothing wrong with the substance of the comments. I agree with it.

    But if you're just repeating yourself day after day after day, you're abusing the commons. This is a place for interesting commentary and compelling opinion, not just repeating the same talking points over and over.

    Imagine a dinner party at your home. If there was someone there who just kept saying the same thing over and over - regardless of the conversation 'round the table - you wouldn't ask 'em back.

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    Kari- how can it be both a commons, and a private dinner party, at the same time? Your post strikes me as very unseemly, given who you are.

    I'd say there's an easy way to avoid this kind of situation: just keep your critiques the people posting comments anonymous.

    You frequently disavow ownership of the tone of Blue Oregon. But attacking somebody's approach to posting tells a different story.


  • mrfearless47 (unverified)

    paulie asks:

    "Wonder how fast the members of PERS will begin campaigning for Kulongoski now that they're faced with Saxton or Westlund, who will insist they pick up more of their own health insurance costs while slashing their retirement benefits?"

    This PERS retiree will not be out campaigning for Kulongoski regardless of who's running against him. I've already been bitten by that snake. The fear of something worse doesn't motivate me.

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    You frequently disavow ownership of the tone of Blue Oregon. But attacking somebody's approach to posting tells a different story.

    BlueOregon is a commons. But every commons can face the tragedy of the commons - in which irresponsible users of the commons wind up destroying the very commons that they enjoy so much.

    I take very seriously one specific responsibility: to manage BlueOregon for the benefit of everyone who enjoys it. In particular, I'm very comfortable limiting the participation of specific individuals whose behavior hurts the participation of everyone else.

    Now, with fairness to LT, she's very far from that point. I'm just getting tired of the one-trick pony act. And, I should point out, I'm a very patient individual. I am, however, the person that is the recipient of MUCH complaining about LT's daily drumbeat of 2-3 messages repeated over and over and over.

    As you can imagine, I run into a lot of people who read BlueOregon. Almost always, I try and engage in a dialogue about what they like and what they don't like. When I'm told that "some commenters are annoying" - I push back, and ask for specifics. About half the time, it's "LT - with her hatred of futurepac, and her suggestion that everyone else is voting D for the sake of voting D, and she's the only one who thinks critically about the issues."

    Personally, I think that's taking it a bit far -- but that's the feedback I'm getting. And I'm getting it on a near-daily basis these days. I'm a patient guy, and I certainly haven't banned LT from the blog (and I don't expect I'll have to), but that's an option.

    Certainly, there are plenty of others (left and right) who haven't heeded my suggestions to moderate themselves - and I've had to do it for them.

    I'm glad that BlueOregon is so compelling a venue that we have to have discussions like this. Many blogs aren't so lucky.

    Personally, I've been trying to moderate my own participation in the meta-discussions about BlueOregon (recognizing that I have a reflex habit of defending the place), so that'll be all that I have to say about this.

  • LMAO (unverified)

    I am surprised to learn LT is a woman. She debates like a man.

  • LT (unverified)

    Thanks, LMAO

    I'm the granddaughter of an anti-machine politician. I worked on a number of victorious campaigns over a period of 30 years.

    I also saw campaigns self-destruct.

    I hate to see that happen.

    I'd like every Democrat running for the legislature to win.

    I'd like to see a Gov. debate where Ted and (hopefully Ben) force Saxton to get beyond his soundbites and say what he would actually do if elected----and if he realizes that off hand remarks like firing all public employees and then rehiring them without PERS would have public opinion and perhaps legal repercussions in the real world.

    One of my dearest friends is a former legislator I sometimes have strongly disagreed with.

    I was an independent thinker while a member of Dem. state central committee.

    I recall the Neil vs. Norma and Dave vs. Barbara Gov. campaigns where actual issues (beyond soundbites ) were debated.

    I'd like to see that again.

    But if that attitude bothers people, I should take the advice of one candidate I know, quit reading Blue Oregon and start spending my time doing something more fun like watching TV and movies.

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    Rasmussen is a robo poll in the new age of robo polls, where they're actually pretty darn good. Both Rasmussen and Survey USA did excellent jobs forecasting the 2004 races. Pew was the only one who did as well or better.

    And now that he's conceded that party identification DOES shift in some ways, the daily Bush approval numbers are starting to look more like the rest of them.

    I have to agree that on many of his topical questions, there are some leanings that coome out--but on the straight political questions like approval ratings and do you favor X or Y, they do well. I would take these numbers seriously, although IMO they are likely to represent some of Ted's lowest and some of Ron's highest.

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    And--OK, I can't resist--we had those numbers up at Loaded O last Tuesday. Maybe that's why I heard Kari tell Nick Fish this morning, that's his favorite blog. :wink:

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    I find it interesting that the Rasmussen press release came out on Tuesday, but we didn't post it here until today. And then, KGW-8 reported it as news... today.

    Things that make you go hmmmmmm........

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    Sheesh, I was just wondering and end up misinterpreted. So wondering again; critics have been hard on Kulongoski for not being agressive enough on environmental issues. With Saxton/Westlund in office can we expect a serious step back on the environment?

    The irony of the election is Dems have a serious chance to take back the House this time around and to set the legislative agenda. Losing the governorship to Saxton/Westlund seems unproductive for progressives.

  • Ben Dover (unverified)

    IMO, Kulongoski WILL lose the election if he doesn't get tough on illegal immigration.

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    Surprising that the people annoyed by someone's posts are afraid of the scroll bar. Also surprising that their complaints are taken seriously.

    If complaining is the way to have an impact around here, let me add one of my own: I don't like anything that looks like a bullying or a dismissive attitude. It makes the place seem less welcoming overall, even if the intent was only to take down one person.

    Aside from that...nice site.

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    From your mouth to Ted's ear, Paulie.

    Regardless of the rest of this stuff, Ted needs to hit hard on bio fuels, energy conservation, and other alternative energy efforts. The Gorge warriors have already tarred him up pretty badly in the primary, and they'll be back for the summer engagement, so green building and power strategies are a must.

    Westlund's already there, and Ted needs to keep up the chatter to prevent additional hemorrhaging from the Left.

  • LT (unverified)

    Pat, thanks for talking about issues Ted needs to hit hard on--would be nice to hear more about issues and less "Ted's running against 2 Republicans" talking points.

    Voters don't have to credit talking points--they can look for candidates talking about the issues of importance to them.

    The Statesman Journal today has an editorial favoring Kitzhaber's health plan and with a link to his website. AID=/20060530/OPINION/605300317/1048

    Ron Saxton DOES NOT MENTION health care on his website, unless you count that op-ed about restructuring DHS.

    And how about Ted vs. Ben?

    http://www.tedforgov.com/issues/health_care/ mostly about his Healthy Kids plan

    http://www.westlundforgovernor.com/issues_healthcare.php ISSUES: HEALTHCARE Over 600, 000 Oregonians are uninsured... 112,000 of them are children. Oregon used to have the highest insured rate in the nation, a leader and inspiration to the nation. We’ve gone from being the leader to ranking 37th lowest in the nation for health care insurance coverage. What does that mean for you? Uncompensated care is skyrocketing........

    Looks to me like Ben is talking about the problem of adults who may or may not have health care.

    Health care for kids is a worthy goal. But many adults are employed in situations where they don't have health care through their employer.

    Is Ted's message that he doesn't have to talk about that because he's providing health care for kids? Or what is his message?

    Those of you active on the campaign had better talk about whether Ted intends to discuss adult health care.

    Because it looks to me like only one candidate is discussing adult health care at this point. And people concerned about that issue may say partisan loyalty is secondary to hearing an important issue discussed in detail.

  • Eric (unverified)

    The only thing that matters here is that Ron Saxton was born in Oregon, raised in Oregon, went to high school and undergrad college in Oregon. I belive that the Governor of Oregon has to be an Oregon native and Ron Saxton is the only one that fits the bill. Regardless of what his views are on anything, he is an Oregon native. That is all we need to know.

  • anon (unverified)

    Wow Eric, what a refreshing comment. Nice to know I can stop worrying about the issues and just follow my bliss - it's a lot less thinking I'll have to do!

  • jami (unverified)

    weather looks a little grouchy 'round here, but i just stopped in to say that i've never trusted rasmussen polls. leaving out westlund and that christian nationalist lady (both of who suck way harder from the right than the left) was fully intended to make saxton look tougher than he is.

  • jami (unverified)
    <h2>of whom. not "of who." a big sorry to the cringeing grammar lovers.</h2>
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