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In Oregon, 6 Months to Election Day, Incumbent Democrats Kitzhaber and Merkley Well Positioned for Re-Election

SurveyUSA Operations - 06/12/14 06:56 AM

In an election for Governor of Oregon today, 06/10/14, six months till votes are counted, incumbent Democrat John Kitzhaber leads Republican challenger Dennis Richardson by 13 points, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted exclusively for KATU-TV in Portland.

Today, it’s Kitzhaber 48%, Richardson 35%. Kitzhaber leads by 21 points in Greater Portland. Richardson ties Kitzhaber in the rest of the state. Kitzhaber is backed by women, among whom he leads by 20 points, and by the youngest voters, among whom he leads by 22. Kitzhaber holds 76% of the Democratic base, Richardson holds 78% of the Republican base. Independents break narrowly for the incumbent Democrat. Those with a high-school education vote for Richardson, but more educated voters back Kitzhaber.

Voters who tell SurveyUSA that the failure of Cover Oregon has a major impact on their vote back Richardson 3:1. Those who say the failure of Cover Oregon is not a factor in how they vote back Kitzhaber 11:1.

In an election today for United States Senator from Oregon, incumbent Democrat Jeff Merkley leads Republican Monica Wehby, 50% to 32%. Wehby is backed by 71% of Republicans and 67% of conservatives. But Merkley is at or above 50% among women, voters age 50+, among Democrats, moderates and liberals, the less affluent and the most educated. Merkley leads by 26 points in Greater Portland. Wehby closes to with 3 points in the rest of Oregon, but still trails there 39% to 36%.

Three separate initiatives are on the ballot having to do with the recreational use of marijuana. SurveyUSA did not ask likely voters to differentiate among the 3 ballot measures, but did ask respondents whether they support or oppose allowing adults in Oregon to use, possess and grown marijuana for their personal use, while allowing the state to regulate and tax marijuana. 51% support making the personal use of marijuana legal, 41% oppose. There is no regional difference on this question. But there is an enormous age difference: young voters back the decriminalization of marijuana by 48 points. Seniors oppose legalization by 24 points. Democrats support. Republicans oppose.

Voters back Initiative 27, which would require that genetically engineered food be labeled. 51% back Initiative 27; 14% oppose. 35% are undecided, which means there is plenty of wiggle room in these numbers. That said, the measure is favored to pass.

More controversially, voters also back Initiative 10, the Oregon Castle-Doctrine Act, which would expand the laws permitting the defensive use of deadly force and eliminate liability in the case of a trespasser’s injury or death. 47% say Yes on 10, 14% say No. It’s still early going, and 38% are undecided, but at this hour, Democrats support Initiative 10 by 35% to 23%. Republicans support 12:1. Men support 10 by 45 points. Women support 10 by 20 points.

Cell-phone and home-phone respondents included in this research: SurveyUSA interviewed 900 state of Oregon adults 06/05/14 through 06/09/14. Of the adults, 810 were registered to vote. Of the registered, 560 were determined by SurveyUSA to be likely to vote in the 11/04/14 general election. This research was conducted using blended sample, mixed mode. Respondents reachable on a home telephone (74% of likely voters) were interviewed on their home telephone in the recorded voice of a professional announcer. Respondents not reachable on a home telephone (26% of likely voters) were shown a questionnaire on their tablet, smartphone, or other electronic device.

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