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Oregon Senate: Smith Still Below 50% in Re-election Bid

Gordon Smith, United States Senator from Oregon, remains below the 50% level of support for the third straight month in Rasmussen Reports polling. Any incumbent who polls below 50% is considered potentially vulnerable and this month’s polling contains even more bad news for Smith—support for his potential Democratic challengers is increasing.

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.

When matched against Steve Novick, Smith leads by six percentage points, 47% to 41%. In the March poll, Novick trailed by eleven. In February, the gap was thirteen points.

Against either Democrat, Smith enjoys his strongest support among voters over 65.

Smith is far from the only Republican incumbent in trouble and Democrats expect to pick up many Republican Senate seats this November. High on the list are contests in Virginia, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Colorado, and Alaska. Other potentially vulnerable Republican incumbents can be found in Minnesota, Kentucky and Texas.

Underlying the growing number of vulnerable GOP Senators is the fact that more and more Americans are coming to consider themselves as Democrats. The latest tracking data released by Rasmussen Reports shows that Democrats now have a ten-percentage point advantage over Republicans in terms of partisan identification. Democrats are also trusted more than Republicans on most key issues tracked regularly by Rasmussen Reports. One of the only rays of hope for the GOP this season is that their presidential candidate, John McCain, outperforms the Republican party label on key issues such as the Economy and the War in Iraq.

In Oregon, Smith is viewed favorably by 55% of the state’s voters, Novick by 46%, and Merkley by 42%. The numbers for both Democrats are trending up.

Those figures include just 18% with a Very Favorable opinion of their incumbent Senator. Thirteen percent (13%) have a Very Favorable view of Novick while 9% say the same about Merkley.

At the other extreme, 16% have a Very Unfavorable opinion of Smith while 14% say the same about each Democrat.

In Oregon’s Presidential race both Democratic hopefuls lead John McCain. The race for the White House is competitive nationally in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll.

Rasmussen Markets data suggests that Smith is currently given a % chance of keeping his job after November’s election. These figures are updated on a 24/7 basis by market participants.

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 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports on May 7, 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%

Oregon Trends: Smith vs. Novick

Date

Smith

Novick

5/07/2008

47%

41%

3/25/2008

46%

35%

2/13/2008

48%

35%


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.