If it's in the News, it's in our Polls. Public opinion polling since 2003.

 

Oregon Senate Race Back To A Dead Heat

Oregon Senator Gordon Smith is in dangerous territory again, virtually tied with Jeff Merkley, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of voters in the state.

The incumbent Republican holds a statistically insignificant 46% to 45% lead over Merkley. The race is now the closest it’s been since regular tracking began in February.

Just one month ago, Smith had an eight-point lead but still received under 50% support from voters. Any incumbent senator who polls under 50% is considered vulnerable. In July, Merkley was ahead 43% to 41%.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls).

This month, Smith earns support from 84% of Oregon Republicans, while Merkley earns the vote from 76% of Democrats. The challenger leads 46% to 42% among unaffiliated voters in the Beaver State.

While Smith leads 49% to 44% among men, the race is essentially tied among women, among whom Merkley has a 45% to 44% edge.

Favorable ratings for the incumbent senator have fallen over the past month. Smith is now viewed favorably by 49%, down from 55% in August. Forty-six percent (46%) view him unfavorably, up from 38% a month ago. Merkley’s numbers have improved slightly this month, but still aren’t entirely positive. The challenger is viewed favorably by 45%, up from 42%, and unfavorably by 46%, up from 45% last month.

With just weeks left to go before the election, Smith is far from being the only Republican incumbent senator in a vulnerable position. GOP seats in Alaska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Colorado, Virginia and Mississippi are all in play. The Democrats now have a six-point lead in the Generic Congressional Ballot.

Rasmussen Markets data currently gives Smith a % chance of keeping his Senate seat. These figures are updated on a 24/7 basis by market participants.

Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski, a Democrat, earns good or excellent ratings from 41% of voters, while 26% say he is doing a poor job.

Presidential polling has also been released this week for Colorado, Florida, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The latest numbers from Oregon’s Presidential race will be released today at 5 p.m.

Please sign up for the Rasmussen Reports daily e-mail update (it’s free)… let us keep you up to date with the latest public opinion news.

See survey questions and toplines. Crosstabs are available for Premium Members only.

Oregon Toss-Up

Latest RR P oll

RR Poll Avg.

RR Mkts.

In Trade

2002 Results

Smith (R)

46%

46%

56%

Merkley (D)

49%

47%

40%

This telephone survey of 700 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports on September 15, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

See Methodology.


Oregon Trends: Smith vs. Merkley

Date

Smith

Merkley

10/30/2008

46%

49%

10/14/2008

47%

47%

09/15/2008

46%

45%

08/07/2008

47%

39%

07/15/2008

41%

43%

06/11/2008

47%

38%

05/07/2008

45%

42%

03/25/2008

47%

34%

02/13/2008

48%

30%


Favorable Ratings for Senate Candidates in Oregon

 

Smith

Merkley

Very Favorable

18%

17%

Somewhat Favorable

32%

32%

Somewhat Unfavorable

29%

20%

Very Unfavorable

20%

28%

Not Sure

1%

3%


About Rasmussen Reports

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

The Rasmussen Reports ElectionEdge™ Premium Service for Election 2008 offers the most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a Presidential election.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.