Poll: DeFazio 42, Smith 38

Over at DailyKos, the big dog has gotten his hands on a DSCC poll showing a hypothetical matchup between Congressman Peter DeFazio and Senator Gordon Smith. The poll is by Lisa Grove, who has done polling for Senator Wyden, Governor Kulongoski, Congresswoman Hooley, the Oregon House Democrats, and many others in Oregon and elsewhere.

If the November 4th, 2008 general election for U.S. Senate were held today and the candidates were: Peter DeFazio, Democrat or Gordon Smith, Republican, for whom would you vote or are you undecided?
DeFazio [D]  42
Smith   [R]  38

Kos also has an excerpt of the favorable/unfavorable and good job/bad job numbers.

I’m going to read you a list of people. After each, please tell me overall, do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable, or very unfavorable impression of them.
             very smwht smwht very  no   nvr
             fav  fav   unfav unfav opin hrd
Peter DeFazio 24   29      8   11    17   12
Gordon Smith  21   35     12   13    12    7

Now I'm going to read you the names of some public officials. After I read each name, please tell me if you think that officeholder is doing an excellent job, a good job, only a fair job, or a poor job. If you aren't sure how good a job that person is doing, just say so.

                       Excel Good Fair Poor DK
Senator Gordon Smith      12  34   31   12  11
Congressman Peter DeFazio 18  30   19   12  20


  • charlie (unverified)

    I read this as a last ditch effort by the DSCC to put pressure on Defazio to get in the race.

  • Ted Foster (unverified)

    No surprise there - DeFazio is a member of DSA (Democrats Socialists of America) - and Oregon is clearly a socialist state. He could defintely win it...then we will see if he can achieve the socialist utopian dream for Oregon.

  • McCann (unverified)


    Just for your information in DeFazio's "socialist utopian dream for Oregon" all the Mexicans will be deported and we will strip mine of every mountain top in Oregon.

  • (Show?)

    The important thing to remember is that this is a snap shot and may or may not be accurate. A few things have been left out. The margin of error is +/- 4%. Neither Blue Oregon or Kos has the sample size. If I had to guess it must be around 400, but it would be nice to know. I also wonder if DSCC is going to continue to poll monthly to track how well the match up would play out.

    I'm not totally comfortable with DeFazio. He seems like a good guy, but I don't know a heck of a lot about him.

  • ellie (unverified)

    I read this as a last ditch effort by the DSCC to put pressure on Defazio to get in the race.

    I read this as a first effort by DeFazio to test the waters in the race.

  • verasoie (unverified)

    I still believe that Kitz is still hiding his cards on this (as per personal conversation with him late last year), or more explicitly, won't truly make up his mind on this matter until later this summer, which is why no one has declared yet--- they're all waiting to see what the big fish in the pond will do.

    Schumer and the DSCC must be getting impatient with his being coy and want to recruit other winners in case Kitz decides to stay in Oregon.

  • (Show?)

    For what it's worth, here is the most excellent Randy Stapilus' take:

    Even so, the low Smith number in this hypothetical looks dangerously low. DeFazio s plenty strong in his own district, but he’s only moderately well known elsewhere around the state. (His district is 100 miles or so from the Portland metro area.) If the Smith-DeFazio numbers are solid, we’d take it a step further and say that they would reasonably reflect as well a matchup between Smith and any reasonably strong, well-positioned, Democrat.

  • (Show?)

    Verasoie, you really should give up your Kitzhaber pipe dream. Trust me, I share it, but he's out.

    I still believe that Kitz is still hiding his cards on this (as per personal conversation with him late last year)

    Since then, he made a public announcement.

    Peter DeFazio would be an excellent candidate.

  • verasoie (unverified)


    I totally understand your perspective and your skepticism and, in fact, I would completely share them were it not for my personal conversation with Kitz on this topic a few months back. Look, we all know that he's an intensely personal guy, there's no way he's going to let himself get blindsided (as in the show you link to) into revealing his plans (or not). Do you really think he would have said anything but no? Even if he were thinking about it, there's no way he would say so in that venue... imagine the headlines in the Oregonian the next day, and all of the scrutiny that he would be subjected to for months on end. No way he'd let himself be the object of that.

    Moreover, he does have other priorities right now, namely advancing a healthcare reform package at the state level while the legislature is in session. Why would he want that to be sidetracked or distracted by talk about his possible candidacy for higher office? Heck, the Republicans would probably stonewall anything from him just to derail a potential run for the Senate if they thought he were thinking about it. Nope, he needs to play it cool, work on things at the state level, and this summer, after the dust has settled, he'll go fishing or rafting down the Rogue and think about his future. On his terms. Not anybody else, particularly probing journalists looking for a scoop.

    Of course, this doesn't fly with the DSCC, they don't want their goals to advance at anybody else's pace but their own, so if Kitz isn't going to play ball with them when they say so, they'll look elsewhere.

    I know, this all sounds like pure speculation, and much of it is, but I've met Kitz a few times and believe him when he says he's thinking about it, but won't make a decision until this summer. And to play fair, I'll add this bit: I know one close Kitz confidant and well-heeled party insider who's already banking (literally) on his candidacy.

  • Garrett (unverified)

    Wouldn't it be great if Kitz ran? Maybe the man just wants his own time and if thats the case then great...he's done his part already. If he is ready for more then I'm not going to poo poo it. If DiFazio wants in I'm not going to poo poo it. If Blumenauer throws down...you get the point. Its freaking flip flopping (I know I'm borrowing from Karl Rove) Gordo. I'd almost vote for Bill Sizemore over Gordo at this point. I'd be happier than anyone if Kitz got in the race.

  • Mark (unverified)

    Why no other matchups? Does the DSCC not want to promote other candidates, or did other candidates not fare as well?

  • (Show?)


    Good question..if the DSCC seems so intent on pushing DeFazio to run will it discourage other candidates? Is DeFazio the only candidate? Is he the best candidate?

    Have Democrats learned the lesson of the 1996 Senatorial race?

  • Bill (unverified)

    But those Smith pr folks are working overtime - the new Portland Monthly magazine has a glowing Gordon Smith puff piece written by a reporter from People magazine. Gotta reassure all their white, upscale readers in Lake Oswego and the Pearl...

  • (Show?)

    Poll was sizeable--600 likely voters. DeFazio is the ideal candidate, but what's the likelihood he'll run? This was Dem poll, so does someone know something the rest of us don't?

    (He's a great candidate because, despite what echo-chamberites like Charlie believe, he is one of the few Dems who has proven he can win in rural districts.)

  • Ted Foster (unverified)

    "Ted--- Just for your information in DeFazio's "socialist utopian dream for Oregon" all the Mexicans will be deported and we will strip mine of every mountain top in Oregon."

    Mexicans will be deported?

    I thought it was raising taxes to pay for their free healthcare and education?

  • Chris (unverified)

    When you take into account Gordon Smith's recent actions, that his numbers are even that high is scary.

  • Mike (unverified)

    Clearly, DSCC did poll other pols. The O: "[DSCC spokesman Matthew] Miller also declined to say whether the group asked those surveyed about other potential Smith challengers." If the answer was no, he could just say no. Add that to the fact that their own poll questions say, "I’m going to read you a list of people," and it's clear they didn't squander the money it takes to commission a poll by only asking about one person.


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