Poll: Mayor's Race is Competitive

A poll of Portland voters suggests that the race for Portland Mayor could be a competitive one between candidates Sam Adams and Sho Dozono.

From the Portland Tribune:

Well-respected local pollster Tim Hibbitts does not believe the race for Portland mayor is a foregone conclusion, based on his analysis of a survey of likely voters conducted last week for the Portland Tribune and Fox News (12).

“It’s far from a done deal,” Hibbitts said.

According to the poll, city Commissioner Sam Adams currently leads local businessman Sho Dozono among likely candidates by a margin of 41 percent to 20 percent, with 2 percent for other candidates and 36 percent undecided.

Despite Adams’ 21 percent lead over Dozono, Hibbitts believes Dozono still has time to mount a credible challenge, especially once voters begin paying attention to such local issues as the controversial street maintenance fee sponsored by Adams that is headed for the November general election ballot.

“Adams leads, but Dozono has a chance to make it a competitive race,” said Hibbitts of Davis, Hibbitts & Midghall Inc., the polling firm that conducted the first of many exclusive polls for the newspaper and TV station, which are news partners.

Both Adams and Dozono are generally well-liked:

According to the poll, Portlanders have more positive feelings about both Adams and Dozono than negative ones. In the poll, 50 percent of respondents view Adams very or somewhat favorably, compared with 21 percent who view him very or somewhat unfavorably.

Dozono’s figures are lower but still favorable — 24 percent view him very or somewhat favorably, while only 2 percent view him very or somewhat unfavorably.

“This suggests Dozono has a chance,” Hibbitts said. “He has a base he can build on, and his negative ratings are very low.”

The poll shows that Adams has more support than Dozono among women, young voters and Democrats. Dozono does better among older men.

According to Hibbitts, Adams appears to benefit from the fact that most Portlanders are satisfied with the way things are going. Asked whether things in Portland are heading in the right direction or on the wrong track, 56 percent of voters responded the right direction compared with 29 percent off track. Fifteen percent said they did not know.

Read the rest. Will the mayoral race be a close one?


  • Anonymous (unverified)

    Jeff Mapes also talks about it at his blog, saying "Adams leads handily": here's the link.

  • BCM (unverified)

    Jim Francesconi, I mean, Sam Adams has a tough race ahead of him. Dozo=Potter in 08'?

  • Urban Planning Overlord (unverified)

    BCM has my thoughts as well. Sam Adams could go the way of Francesconi against the "maverick" candidate

  • james r bradach (unverified)

    There are more interesting things in the news today!

  • (Show?)

    Adams may be like Francesconi (or not) but Dozono is nothing like Tom Potter and will not appeal to a large swathe of erstwhile Potter backers.

  • Miles (unverified)

    Sorry, but a 21% lead, coupled with the generally favorable impressions that Portlanders have of their city, does not equate to a "close" race. This is a classic case of the media trying to create a horse race where there isn't one. Hibbits is an idiot if he thinks that a 21% lead, with high favorables for Adams, makes him "vulnerable." My god.

  • MCR (unverified)

    Hibbits isn't an idiot and Dozono isn't Tom Potter.

    This race will be closer than some people on this thread seem to think. A lot will depend on how the public debate about the street tax goes. And how Dozono handles the bright lights.

  • (Show?)

    "Sho who?" asks the voter.

    Adams' lead at this point is surely all about name recognition, like Hillary Clinton's six months ago. I think this race is actually wide open.

    Dozono's entry has the potential to force a discussion of the issues facing the city...or to dissolve the race into a personality-based popularity content with he and Adams competing for the brightest smile. Hopefully the former will be the case. Sho has shown some real creativity in his own business & PR in the past; Adams certainly brings all the experience being a long-time insider gives you. But they're both going to have to prove themsevles before either gets my vote.

  • Jeff Cropp (unverified)

    Dozono will have trouble once environmentally-minded Portlanders start evaluating him. His entire career is built around extravagant fossil fuel use, making him responsible for probably more greenhouse gas emissions than any other Mayoral candidate in Portland history. Adams, on the other hand, has a strong record supporting alternative transportation projects. In my mind that's a very clear choice for which direction we want Portland to go.

  • Miles (unverified)

    Adams' lead at this point is surely all about name recognition, like Hillary Clinton's six months ago. I think this race is actually wide open.

    The difference being that Hillary's negatives have always been exceptionally high. Before this poll, I would have guessed Adams' negatives were high as well, allowing for an opening for Dozono. But the poll doesn't show that.

  • Miles gone wrong again (unverified)


    In your last post you infer that Adam's negatives were not high in the Hibbitts poll, however if you read again, you will see that Adam's has a 21% of the 300 who viewed him either very or somewhat UNFAVORABLY - which translates to 63 out of 300 people answered this way.

    Dozono on the other hand, had only 6 people of the entire 300 who view him either very or somewhat unfavorably.

    All the reports of the Hibbitts poll show a wide opening for Adams, and even though Adams has been campaigning for quite some time - he does not have 50% of the vote yet.

    Sorry you have to call Hibbits, who has a wealth of experience as a respected pollster an idiot. Look who's talking, interpreting figures without the backing you need. I'll remember not to put any stock in your future postings

  • Miles (unverified)

    A 21% unfavorable is not high, particularly for a politician such as Adams who has been embroiled in a number of controversial proposals (the OHSU tram, the Chavez renaming, and most recently the push for a new street tax). The fact that after all that he is only at 21% unfavorable is remarkable.

    Dozono has even lower unfavorables, but he also has much lower name recognition. The key point here is that to beat Adams, he needs to capitalize on a significant "anyone but Sam" vote. This poll shows that such a sentiment does not currently exist.

    <h2>Hibbits is a publicity hound. His interpretation of these numbers is idiotic -- I think most objective pollsters would agree. He's giving the newspaper a quote for an angle on a story that they desperately want to write. You can believe what you want, but this poll shows that Adam is almost certainly going to win -- possibly even in May, avoiding a run-off.</h2>
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