New Poll: Merkley 45%, Smith 40%

Jeff Alworth

Hot on the heels of a Survey USA poll showing Jeff Merkley with a 2-point lead comes the latest Research 2000/Daily Kos poll, putting Merkley up by five.  In this poll, which surveyed 600 Oregonians using a random-dialing method, Merkley leads in some important demographics.  Predictably, he leads among young voters (+12%), but he also has a lead among all age categories except those over 60.  The race is tied among men, but Merkley holds a ten-point advantage among women.  (Detail below the jump.)

More good news: independents favor Merkley marginally (43%-41%), but Democrats are the most undecided group, at 11%.  If Merkley can seal the deal with these voters, this poll suggests he will have a significant advantage going into November.  The demographic breakdown of respondents was: Democrats 43%, Republicans 36%, and independents 21%. 

The poll also asked respondents about the Presidential race, and voters favored Obama 53%-39%.  Obama enjoys an 18-point advantage among independents, a 24-point lead among women, and is favored by voters of all ages.

QUESTION: If the election for U.S. Senate were held today would you vote for Jeff Merkley the Democrat or Gordon Smith the Republican?

                    MERKLEY     SMITH       OTHER       UNDECIDED   

ALL                 45%         40%          6%          9%

MEN                 42%         42%          9%          7%
WOMEN               48%         38%          3%         11%

DEMOCRATS           79%          6%          4%         11%
REPUBLICANS          6%         81%          5%          8%
INDEPENDENTS        43%         41%         11%          5%

18-29               48%         36%          5%         11%
30-44               46%         39%          7%          8%
45-59               44%         41%          7%          8%
60+                 42%         43%          6%          9%

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    Shouldn't it be said that this is the first Senate poll I can think of that had Merkley ahead OUTSIDE THE MoE (although not the confidence interval)? That's a pretty notable thing, I'd figure....

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    The Survey USA poll reported 8% intending to vote Constitution Party; this one gives 6% "other". Assuming that's mostly CP, I think we have to suspect some large chunk of them may end up voting Smith when push comes to shove. Since the largest %"other" is among "Independents," I suppose that assumption could be wrong -- is the PGreen Party running a Senate candidate?

    It is not obvious to me that it's better that a higher proportion of Dems are undecided than of Rs or "Independents". I guess that with Jeff up, the idea is that party ID may lead more of them to break Jeff's way? However, it also seems to reflect some combination of Jeff not closing the deal entirely with the DP base, some continued success of Smith's claim to be bipartisan, and perhaps that the enlargement of DP registration by former NAVs who wanted to vote Obama in the DP primary may not bet translating down-ticket so much.

    So which is it? Does Jeff need to secure his party base better? Or should he regard the D undecideds as very recent Ds who otherwise might be NAV and should be appealed to as to an "Independent" undecided?

    It is good that Jeff is up and by so much in this poll, but with 15% undecided/other we should not be complacent about it.

  • Atticus Amaranthal (unverified)

    Unbelievably, he seems to be losing the "this guy is different than Gordon Smith" poll, though.

    Overheard on the 10 Harold bus, from Reed College. "I don't care what they stand for, the means do not justify the ends. If they are going to act the same I'm going to treat them the same. I cannot believe that they have these rude, in-your-face, gen-X OSPIRGies doing guerilla telemarketing for Merkely and Obama. Yeah, they stand for change. And employ the basest telemarketing tactics around".

    I wasn't too sure what I had just heard, and googled the terms and came up with the following.

    Didn't mean much at the time, but yesterday I saw Caller ID: [redacted - editor.]. It was unbelievable. I thought, "OK I'll pick up and be non-conmittal and see what they push, until they go over the line". Never got to pick up the phone. They got my recorded message and before I could pick it up- about 20 seconds- the caller started making jokes about my name! Like she was talking to herself! If you think the Dems didn't decide to start using "any means necessary" after 2000, pick up the next call you get from [redacted - editor.]!

    Personally, I was going to vote for Obama, but have been undecided since he cow-towed to the most cynical, perverted televangelist on the air, in his first appearance with McCain. The call made up my mind. Ron Paul. Ghandi was right about good never growing from bad seed. We have a one party system and even Oregon progressives have no respect for real alternatives. I would rather "waste my vote" than waste my freedoms as you all seems to think is far superior.

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    <h2>Editor's note: The comment above, bizarrely enough, is causing some people to think that BlueOregon is responsible for these phone calls. We are not. We don't make phone calls. As a result, I've pulled the number from the text of the comment (though you can still find it by clicking the link from Atticus.)</h2>

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