In Oregon, What Voters ‘Say’ and What Voters ‘Do’ May be Two Different Things; Cylvia Hayes Impact Analyzed
With each passing hour bringing new revelations about Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber’s fiance, Cylvia Hayes, KATU-TV and SurveyUSA attempt here to break the Oregon electorate into 4 quadrants. The question asked of voters paying close attention to the governor’s election and who are following news stories about Hayes, was this:
Which of the following best describes you?
1: I was going to vote for John Kitzhaber and I’m still going to vote for Kitzhaber.
2: I was going to vote for Dennis Richardson and I’m still going to vote for Richardson.
3: I was going to vote for Kitzhaber but now I will vote for Richardson.
4: I was going to vote for Richardson but now I will vote for Kitzhaber.
38% were going to vote for Kitzhaber and will still vote for Kitzhaber.
37% were going to vote for Richardson and will still vote for Richardson.
18% were going to vote for Kitzhaber but now will vote for Richardson (disproportionately young, male, independent, liberals).
1% were going to vote for Richardson but now will vote for Kitzhaber.
6% overall, and, importantly, 9% of Democrats, are not sure what to do.
Earlier this week, SurveyUSA and KATU-TV reported that incumbent Democrat Kitzhaber led Republican challenger Richardson by 13 points, 51% to 38%. Will 18% of Oregon voters in fact defect from Kitzhaber over the Hayes news stories? Or, are these voters just saying they will switch to Richardson when in fact they will return Kitzhaber to office for a 4th term? Some of each, of course. In 13 days, we’ll know for sure how many defectors there actually were.
Cell-phone respondents and home-phone respondents included in this research: SurveyUSA interviewed 950 Oregon adults 10/20/14 and 10/21/14. Of the adults, 856 were registered to vote. Of the registered voters, 60% (514 voters) are paying a lot of attention to the race for Governor. Of those paying attention, 79% (407 voters) are following stories about the fiance, Hayes. The poll’s essential question was asked just of the 407 qualified respondents. This may or may not directly overlap the universe of Oregon’s likely voters in 2014. Of note: Oregon has on the ballot, in addition to the Governor’s contest, a measure to legalize recreational marijuana. If the electorate is disproportionately young on election day, because of the marijuana initiative, that could be trouble for Kitzhaber. Young voters, of the 4 age groups cross-tabbed, are the most likely to say they will defect to Richardson