Election 2008: Oregon Senate
Oregon Senate: Incumbent Smith Still Below 50% Support
Friday, June 13, 2008
For the fourth straight month, Oregon Senator Gordon Smith is supported by less than 50% of voters in his bid for re-election. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey finds Smith leading Democratic challenger Jeff Merkley 47% to 38%.
Any incumbent who polls below 50% is considered potentially vulnerable. However, Smith is in a bit better shape than he was a month ago, when he only had a three-point advantage over Merkley. That poll was conducted as the Democratic Primary campaign was shining earned media attention on Merkely and raising his name recognition. In March, Smith was up by double digits.
In all four Rasmussen Reports Oregon polls, Smith’s support has remained consistent, ranging from a low of 45% to a high of 48%.
Smith leads by eleven points among men but just six points among women. He also earns nearly a quarter (23%) of the vote from Democrats. When it comes to unaffiliated voters, Smith leads Merkley 44% to 37%.
Smith is viewed favorably by 58% and unfavorably by 38%. Merkley’s numbers are 42% favorable, 38% unfavorable.
In Oregon’s Presidential race, Barack Obama leads John McCain.
Smith is far from the only Republican incumbent in trouble and Democrats expect to pick up many Republican Senate seats this November. At least eight other Republican Senate seats are potentially in play for Democrats including seats in Alaska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Colorado, Mississippi, Virginia, and Kentucky.
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.
This telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports on June 11, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.
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.