Lots of Polling: Democrats surging in Oregon

Public Policy Polling has a new poll out in Oregon [pdf]. With a margin of error of only 2.6%, it shows Jeff Merkley leading 51-43, Barack Obama leading 57-42, Kate Brown leading 51-40, and Ben Westlund leading 47-41.

“There are several states where Barack Obama is having major coattails that could put quite an imprint on the next US Senate,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “At this point Jeff Merkley seems almost certain to be a winner, and Obama’s popularity is having a similar effect in Minnesota and North Carolina.”

In other down ballot races, Democrat Kate Brown leads 51-40 in her campaign for Secretary of State and Ben Westlund has a closer 47-41 advantage in his quest for State Treasurer.

Public Policy Polling had the most accurate pre election poll for the Democratic primary in Oregon.

PPP surveyed 1,424 likely voters from October 28th to 30th. The survey’s margin of error is +/-2.6%.

Update: A new poll from SurveyUSA shows Jeff Merkley leading Gordon Smith 49 to 42 -- no change from earlier in the week. (Not available online yet.)

Update: A new poll from Rasmussen shows Jeff Merkley leading Gordon Smith 49 to 46 -- a shift from the 47-47 tie two weeks ago.


  • Bill R. (unverified)

    Dems surging in Oregon! Dems surging in Arizona too!

    Obama headed to possible victory in AZ: http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/10/31/11279/222/947/647893

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    This poll of 1,424 is over 3X the number of voters survey in the Moore poll that gave Smith an edge. This is much more credible. At the same time it seems to have oversampled Dems and women. I believe that the Dem registration is about 11% higher than Republicans, but this gives a 14% edge for Dems. Even if this is cut by the 3% difference it gives a nice margin for all of the Democrats and it could still turn out right if the Republicans give up and don't vote.

    According to this poll, Obama supporters outnumber McCain supporters by 2:1, among those who have already voted. Among those who haven't voted McCain leads. Could some of them get to the point where they don't bother to turn in their ballots?

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    I also forgot to add that the margin of undecided voters for the Presidential and Senate races is negligible and not enough to swing the races. This is an especially good sign for Merkley. The only race where the undecided could still swing the result is the Treasury race where Westlund is still below 50%.

  • Gil Johnson (unverified)

    While comforting, this poll probably won't help me sleep any better until Nov. 5. Let's stay on the phones and on the streets. Trick or Vote canvas today in Portland starting at 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. at 226 SE Madison.

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    Not surprisingly, this kind of automated push-button poll underestimates the undecided, less motivated voters (who aren't willing to take the time to respond to recorded questions).

    Comparing these results to a private poll I saw for these same races, I would say that the undecideds are dramatically understated in each race. It also appears, as John Calhoun stated, that both Democrats and women are overrepresented in the sampling, which is why the edge for Democrats is greater than what I have seen elsewhere.

  • rural resident (unverified)

    Have there been any polls on the ballot measures? Other than a brief mention that M65 was competitive (but not giving any numbes), I can't remember having seen even one polls on any of these.

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    RR -- It's really too bad. The Oregonian used to do these awesome omnibus polls before elections.

    But they haven't done a single poll this year -- and I understand it's about budget cuts. Kind of sad, really. They want to be the paper-of-record for the region, but they aren't doing the basic things that people expect from such a paper.

    So, all we're left with is the polling on stuff that out-of-state, national pollsters care about... federal races. I'm impressed that PPP even bothered to ask about Brown and Westlund.

    But ballot measure polls? Nah. The Oregonian can't be bothered. C'est la vie.

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    that both Democrats and women are overrepresented in the sampling

    No, Jack, the polls are UNDER-estimating Democrats.

    I'm still trying to find the numbers online, but last night, KGW reported that 50% of all ballots returned so far are from Democrats - and just 31% from Republicans.

  • Bill R. (unverified)

    PPP has an excellent record this election season. And these numbers are in line with Survey USA which is also considered top drawer. McCain and Smith are toast! And frankly I don't get this idea that you have to be filled with anxiety to be motivated. Right now it's the Obama/Merkley people who are pumped and their campaign offices are getting the volunteers. The paranoid nail-biters don't attract enthusiasm at all! Bandwagon psychology is catchy!

  • Jim Oleske (unverified)

    No Complacency

    Survey USA is, indeed, one of the best in the business, but so is Rasmussen. Despite their partisan background, Rasmussen has a better record than PPP this cycle, and PPP blew some races big time in the primary outside their home territory in the Carolinas. Their final PA poll had Obama beating Clinton by 3, Clinton won by 10; PPP also had Novick beating Merkley by 5 one day before the primary here in Oregon, Merkley won by 3.

    That 8-point miss by PPP in the Oregon primary is exactly the margin they have in their latest Smith-Merkley poll.

    Given that, and given that Rasmussen has the Senate race at 3 points, things are far too close for comfort. Let's save the "Smith is toast!" celebrations for Tuesday night, and, in the meantime, take the advice of the Blue Oregon post yesterday that warned of a tight race and urged everyone to "Get to Work."

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    Your comment on how many Dems have already voted is a non-sequitor response to how many Dems will end up in the total vote. Again the registration edge is about 11%, but the final will be a function of who ends up voting by Tuesday. I do agree that if there is any shift it will be toward motivated Democratic voters pushed by a motivated and huge campaign organization versus a demoralized, unmotivated Republican base with a marginal organization in Oregon.

    As for the undecided voters in the PPP poll, the number is not much different in the Rasmussen poll. I think that the fact that at least half of the voters have already voted (their vote may not be at the elections office yet, but the ballot is filled out and the envelope is sealed)and the remainder have had their fill of Senate and Presidential ads so that they are no longer undecided, the number in PPP makes sense. As I said, it is only as you go down the ballot by this time that people are uncertain.

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    Your comment on how many Dems have already voted is a non-sequitor response to how many Dems will end up in the total vote.

    A non-sequitor? Not really. There's four days left out of a three-week ballot-return period. Unless you believe that there's a hidden surge of Republican turnout awaiting us in the final days, past performance IS indicative of future results.

    We're up by two touchdowns with eight minutes to go. And yeah, the other side can still win. But I'd much rather than be in our shoes than theirs.

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    Yeah, Kari, it's no time to run out the clock. We have to run the ball down the field, load the bases, play good defense, drive to the hoop and aim for the far post. Also, run through the tape. Heck, we shouldn't even be pulling any punches.

    <h2>Leave no ballot behind.</h2>
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