Smith is vulnerable, says the DPO.

The Democratic Party of Oregon is taking note of all the shucking and jiving lately by Senator Gordon Smith. That's happening, of course, because he's feeling the heat (and is surely looking at some ugly poll numbers.)

After all, if he was a solid lock for re-election, would he be announcing things like the absurd "Democrats for Smith" list?

From the DPO's statement:

What happens when Oregon voters send you to the U.S. Senate, but you choose to represent the White House instead?

You become vulnerable.

That is what has happened to Gordon Smith, President Bush’s personal U.S. Senator. His consistent support of Bush’s policies has made him an attractive electoral target.

"’In politics, there are very few times when you feel confident you can take on an incumbent and win. This is one such time for Democrats to think that,’ [Ronald Tammen, director of the Mark O. Hatfield school of government at Portland State University] said.” (AP, 4-21-07)

“The Senate Democratic Campaign Committee regards Sen. Gordon Smith as among the most vulnerable Republicans in 2008.” (The Register-Guard Editorial, 4-22-07)

“Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski said Friday that Smith is vulnerable, but warned that he is a tough campaigner whose aggressive style belies his nice-guy image.” (AP, 4-21-07)

“Smith is clearly more vulnerable than he was in 2002, when he easily defeated Democratic Secretary of State Bill Bradbury.” (The Oregonian Editorial, 4-8-07)

“Smith's got a laundry list of vulnerabilities—he's voted to lower wages for restaurant workers, give tax shelter to multinational corporations, expand bankruptcy laws to enrich credit card companies at the expense of the working class, and is a staunch supporter of Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy. At the same time, he supports expansion of some public services, while gutting the taxes that pay for them.” (Scott Moore Column, The Portland Mercury, April 19-25 Issue)

Oregonians agree with the politicians, editors and pundits. In just one week, more than 700 concerned activists have signed up to stop Gordon Smith at

“Senator Smith’s vulnerability is a direct result of his consistent support of President Bush’s destructive policies,” DPO Chair Meredith Wood Smith said. “He votes with President Bush 90 percent of the time. Tell me, what Oregonian would agree with nine out of 10 decisions this president has made? Only one, and sadly he’s our United States Senator.”

Head on over to and join the campaign to defeat Gordon Smith in 2008.


  • bridgehome (unverified)

    Smith may be in trouble but the DPO better get a little more creative in coming up with a quality opponent for him. While Novick is no doubt well-intentioned, a "Dennis Kucinich of Oregon" is not the answer for Smith. The DPO needs to start cracking the whip on the "contented cows" democratic Oregon congressional contingent and not let them pull the bullshit that DeFazio pulled. Oregon does not need a republican US senator. The current political climate in the state defies this. Come on DPO-- get with it!

  • LiberalIncarnate (unverified)

    I believe that the ultimate measure on how vulnerable Smith is will lie in polls taken from moderates and those not affiliated with any political party. If that shows a 50% or less showing then I would agree that Smith is vulnerable.

  • dddave (unverified)

    Are you guys kidding? The heat Smith is taking RIGHT NOW is not for supporting Bush, but for not supporting Bush in the funding (pork) bill/defund the troops/time limit the war bunk. Sheesh, get it right, would you? And how about an article on how Lars Larson is hammering SMith, and how often the dem side talking heads ever skewer their own??

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)

    Smith may be in trouble but the DPO better get a little more creative in coming up with a quality opponent for him.

    This is the key. If the Democrats can't come up with a viable candidate Smith has nothing to worry about. Unfortunately, given the quality of the average voter a viable candidate will also have to be competitive in the image department and present a good-looking appearance. Plenty of voters will cast their ballots without knowing or caring that Smith voted to give Bush a blank check to go to a war that has cost hundreds of thousands of lives and billions of dollars. Nor will they care about threats to civil liberties that have resulted from votes cast by Smith.

  • heckler (unverified)

    Gordon Smith's son Garrett committed suicide because "gay" + "Mormon" is more dangerous than "drunk" + "driving."

    Senator Smith implicitly acknowledges this by his queer affiliation with Senator Edward Kennedy regarding Matthew Shepard legislation.

    Last November in Eugene, another gay Mormon killed himself (suicide by cop) named Ryan Salisbury. Sheesh, at least if you're catholic, you can become a priest! But what's a queer momo 2 du?

  • A Democrat For Smith (unverified)

    It is hyper-partisan and overly simplistic press releases like this pile of [email protected] that make me want to go here:

    Sign Up Here

    In fact, for every one of these that appear I think I am going to go recruit another!

  • Caelan MacTavish (unverified)

    "Smith is vulnerable"? What, that's news?

    Well, I guess its newsWorthy, since no prominent Democrat in the state wants to walk right into a practically free open senate seat.

    (Come on, Earl...Kitz? Anybody?)

  • (Show?)

    Liberalincarnate raises a reasonable point--the threshhold for vulnerability is usually an under-50 approval rating.

    Now this is as of early March, which is a good month before many of the stories began breaking about the race, but it's also before the vote where he went for the timeline on Iraq, so it's hard to say what might have changed if anything.

    But Gordon is right on the knife-edge, with a 50-40 rating. Among moderates and independents he's in the low 50s. This early out, while it's still above the theoretical Mendoza line, I think it shows Gordon is vulnerable to a well-run campaign, but perhaps not a so-so one.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)

    Democrat for Smith. Can you explain this? What does being a Democrat mean to you, and why would you vote for someone who consistently votes against what the Democratic party theoretically stands for? Did it ever occur to you the honest step would be to change to Republican or independent?

  • BlueNote (unverified)

    So it is news that the DPO believes that Gordo is vulnerable? Seems to me it would be more newsworthy if the RPO announced that Gordo is vulnerable.

    No disrespect to Mr. Novick, but wake me up when Kitz or Earl B or even Ted K file to oppose Gordo. Otherwise, I am going to sleep peacefully through this US Senate election cycle. I hate Repubs, but Kenny Rogers taught me to know when to hold'em and know when to fold'em. So far, it appears that the Dems are folding on this election cycle.

  • (Show?)

    To "heckler": There's nothing in the article you link that suggests that Garrett Smith killed himself because he was gay. While it might be interesting from a political standpoint, let's not play politics with the memory of a dead kid. Even if his dad is a US Senator.

    It's worth noting that Gordon Smith's atypical politics regarding sexual orientation (marred, deeply, by his support of Measure 36) long predate his son's death.

  • Dave Pagni (unverified)

    Smith IS vulnerable and the DPO should get on with backing Smith IS vulnerable and the Dems should get on with backing Steve Novick. I don't see Novick as a Dennis K candidate. I think Novick will present a rationale, sober view on Iraq that will show that we need to get out of that mess soonest, but not abandon national defense issues. As a 26 year Army Officer, I remember the old adage "Lead, Follow, Or Get the Hell Out of the Way." With Blummenaur fence sitting, I see Novick as a viable and serious candidate that we should start supporting, not carping about.

  • Ron Buel (unverified)

    Mr. Pagni: Congratulations to Steve Novick for RUNNING for U.S. Senate. But Novick has never held public office. He loves the battle more than the victory. He likes the clever and tricky more than the substantive. He is too swift to criticize, and to feel and say that only he has the right answers. He has yet to capture a sense of Oregon's pace and tone, its moderation and gait. I will be voting for young Novick if he is the only serious progressive candidate against Smith. But Blumenauer would bring real credibility to opposition to Smith -- from his lifetime of local public service, and his record of intelligent advocacy and accomplishment. And this comes from someone who has been a frequent foe of Blumenauer on local issues, opposed him when he ran for Mayor, and is now an admirer.
    If you want to beat Smith, which I do, you want to wait for Earl to make his decision, and hope he gets in. Kitzhaber will not make this race. Ben Westlund is another solid possibility if Earl doesn't get in. The reality is that the brilliant and likable Novick is likely to lose, and to find it difficult to generate the confidence that he CAN win, even against a vulnerable Smith.

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