The primary is just one week away here in Oregon. When you look at the polls from the past month there’s only one conclusion you can make. Oregon Senate candidate and current House Speaker Jeff Merkley is climbing up the polls. Here’s a snippet from Survey USA:
Eight days until votes are counted in the Democratic Primary for US Senate in Oregon, state House Speaker Jeff Merkley and attorney Steve Novick remain effectively tied, though today Merkley has the nominal advantage, 31% to 27%.
This is the first time Merkley has taken the lead against his opponent Steve Novick. Last week Rasmussen released a poll showing Merkley in a statistical tie with Republican Gordon Smith. Here’s a snippet from Rasmussen:
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Oregon voters finds Smith leading Jeff Merkley by just three percentage points, 45% to 42%. In late March, he enjoyed a thirteen point lead. In February, he was ahead of Merkley by eighteen points.
Merkley hasn’t just caught up to Smith in the past couple months, he has also caught up to Novick. Just two weeks ago, Merkley jumped sixteen points in a SUSA poll which put the race at a dead heat. Now, Merkley has taken the lead and it seems that Merkley has the momentum going into the final days of the primary.
In the new SUSA poll out today, Merkley is leading his primary opponent Steve Novick with voters over the age of 50 and voters ages 18-34. The most important cross-tab in this poll IMO is that Merkley is out-polling Novick by thirteen points outside of Portland. When we go up against Gordon Smith, we need to have a strong showing statewide. We need to have a solid base of support outside the liberal oasis that is Portland if we want to beat Gordon Smith. We cannot put all our eggs in Portland and expect to pull out a win. It won’t happen. Merkley also polls stronger than Novick with self described moderates. Merkley’s solid numbers against Novick outside of Portland and with self described moderates is just another indication of his viability as a statewide candidate.
In case you didn’t know by now, I’m a Merkley supporter. I admire his work in the Oregon House, and believe he is the kind of skilled progressive legislator that we desperately need in the Senate. With a slim majority, Merkley has been able to unite his Democratic caucus and bring Republicans across party lines to pass progressive legislation. He is also IMO, the most well rounded Senate candidate we have running this election season. Merkley spent time as a defense analyst in the Defense Department on nuclear arms treaties. Even though he could have had any job his heart desired after his work in Washington, he returned to Oregon and became the director of Habitat for Humanity. He started affordable housing programs and founded Youth Build which is a program that helps disaffected youth get back on their feet. After his community work he was elected to the House, where he helped engineer a Democratic takeover of the House. His colleagues appointed him to House Speaker where he led the greenest and most labor friendly session in 30 years. This guy is good at what he does, there’s no getting around that. I want a skilled progressive Senator who can get things done in Washington, that’s why I’m hoping Oregonians nominate Jeff Merkley to take on Gordon Smith in November.
I started an Act Blue page for Jeff Merkley if you feel compelled to donate to Jeff Merkley and help oust Republican Gordon Smith!
Just a little tidbit about the new poll, 1700 Oregon adults were polled by Survey USA and among them 1554 were registered voters. Not bad right? I love it that the majority of my fellow Oregonians are registered and ready to GOTV! Time to take back the White House and get a 60 vote majority in the Senate! Woot!