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Poll: Jeff Merkley Leads GOP Opponent By Double Digits In Oregon

Jeff Merkley Monica Wehby

A new poll show Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley leading his opponent by double digits:

Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley holds a 10-point lead over Republican challenger Monica Wehby in his bid for reelection in Oregon.

The first Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey of Likely Oregon Voters this year shows Merkley with 47% of the vote to Wehby’s 37%. Five percent (5%) prefer some other candidate in the race, while 11% are undecided.

The Oregon race is one that many pundits and Republicans have been pointing to as a potential surprise GOP pickup in the fall. Personally, I’ve always been skeptical of that assessment. Oregon’s last Republican Senator was Gordon Smith, who was defeated by Merkley in 2008, and Smith had held office since 1996, succeeding Mark Hatfield, who had held office for some 30 years. Both Smith and Hatfield fell into what could fairly be called the moderate Republican camp and, while on can make a fair case that Wehby, a pediatric neurosurgeon, falls into that camp as well when it comes to issues such as abortion, it’s also apparent that Oregon has drifted more steadily into the Democratic camp in the years since Republicans like Hatfield, Smith, and Bob Packwood were able to win office. If the GOP is going to make that seat competitive this year, it’s going to be because of a huge national wave in its favor. That could happen, but right now it doesn’t seem like that wave has washed up on Oregon’s shores just yet.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Ron Beasley says:

    The last statewide election the Republicans won in Oregon was in 2002..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  2. Ron Beasley says:

    Oregon’s last Republican Senator was Gordon Smith, who was defeated by Merkley in 2008,

    I might add that Smith only won because he became “moderate” six months before each election. He could have won again if not for the fact that an extreme right winger running on a third party ticket got 6% of the vote. In today’s world both Hatfield and Packwood would be Democrats.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  3. beth says:

    Isn’t this the woman who had some weird “stalking ex-boyfriends” stories come out about her recently? Could this be the reaction to that?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  4. al-Ameda says:

    Actually, Monica Wehby probably should be a Democrat too.

    She has said the federal government should regulate abortion, and that abortion is a personal decision between a woman and her family. Even that is not enough for a first class hypocrite like Rick Santorum, who said that Wehby cannot have it both ways, that her position was similar to Mario Cuomo’s position, “That’s Mario Cuomo. That’s the position Mario Cuomo had, which is indefensible.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  5. CSK says:

    @beth:

    Yes, she is. An ex-boyfriend, who’s supporting her campaign, and an ex-husband with whom she had a nasty custody dispute. Both called the police on her. But the point is moot; she won’t win this election even if there had been no problem with the ex-husband or ex-boyfriend.

    @al-Ameda:

    Jason Conger, who was Rick Santorum’s choice, actually condones abortion in cases of rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother. I’m pretty sure Santorum doesn’t recognize the rape and abortion exceptions, and I don’t think he’s entirely comfortable with saving the life of the mother, even though his own wife had an abortion for that reason.

    Wehby also said she had no problem with gay marriage, which would have made her anathema to the Tea Party, which pretends to be about fiscal issues as a cover for their true agenda, which is social and cultural issues.-

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  6. al-Ameda says:

    @CSK:

    I’m pretty sure Santorum doesn’t recognize the rape and abortion exceptions, and I don’t think he’s entirely comfortable with saving the life of the mother, even though his own wife had an abortion for that reason.

    I think it’s amazing that Santorum can, with a straight face, campaign on the issue of anti-abortion at all, given that his wife had a late term abortion, which is in the eyes of extreme anti-abortion advocates the most egregiously wrong and immoral (if not criminal) procedure.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  7. Jim Henley says:

    @CSK:

    Wehby also said she had no problem with gay marriage, which would have made her anathema to the Tea Party, which pretends to be about fiscal issues as a cover for their true agenda, which is social and cultural issues.-

    For the Tea Party, fiscal issues are social and cultural issues. They have a horror of giving money to the “undeserving” poor, and sharing scarce resources with outsiders generally. Whether the resources in question are artificially scarce doesn’t concern them. Paul Ryan puts the Good Cop face on these fears with his voluble concern about “hammocks” and “spiritual deprivation” and “dependency.” You can see the Bad Cop face…well, as soon as Bithead or Jenos shows up in this thread!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  8. wr says:

    @al-Ameda: “I think it’s amazing that Santorum can, with a straight face, campaign on the issue of anti-abortion at all, given that his wife had a late term abortion, which is in the eyes of extreme anti-abortion advocates the most egregiously wrong and immoral (if not criminal) procedure.”

    All the rules are for the little people. The Santorums of the world can do whatever they want — God loves them because they force other people to follow His rules…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  9. wr says:

    I love Oregon, but still find it odd that it’s the one state in the nation where neither major party nominee for Senate has ever heard of a hairbrush… at least juding by Doug’s pics…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  10. superdestroyer says:

    In wondfer what percentage of the voters in Oregon will not vote in a single election that will decided by less than 10% of the vote.

    I hope that some big data analysis will so run the numbers and report what percentage of the voters participate in nothing but routs such as the voters in Oregon.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  11. al-Ameda says:

    @superdestroyer:

    In wondfer what percentage of the voters in Oregon will not vote in a single election that will decided by less than 10% of the vote.

    Oregon is a civicly-minded state. In 2010, a recent off-year general election, 71% of registered voters turned out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  12. superdestroyer says:

    @al-Ameda:

    But did any of their votes matter or did they just rubber stamp the choices of the establishment? Did those people turning out to vote (from home) participate in any competitive elections or just affirm the status quo?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  13. al-Ameda says:

    @superdestroyer:

    But did any of their votes matter or did they just rubber stamp the choices of the establishment? Did those people turning out to vote (from home) participate in any competitive elections or just affirm the status quo?

    As far as I can tell, Oregon doesn’t “do” status quo. There is a long tradition of Oregonians doing it the way they want to do it, in my lifetime this goes back to governor Tom McCall

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  14. Scott O says:

    @wr: Have you seen our governor? He always wears jeans and cowboy boots.
    pic

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. bill says:

    war against women, oregon style!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  16. al-Ameda says:

    @bill:

    war against women, oregon style!

    I love Oregon. Almost anywhere else in the country Monica Wehby is rejected by local Republicans as a communist pediatric neurosurgeon.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  17. Just 'nutha' ig'rant cracker says:

    @superdestroyer: And Superdestroyer moves the goal posts again. The problem is that people don’t vote in mid-term elections. Oh, they did vote? Well, then it must be that the ballot is rigged for a one-party election.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  18. Kari Q says:

    Presumably the only way they can prove they are not just “affirming the status quo” is voting the way SD wants them to vote. Anything else, and whether or not they vote doesn’t matter.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  19. CSK says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Nope. In Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York she’d be a typical Republican: laissez-faire on social issues. In Alabama, she’d be a commie baby-killer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  20. Ron Beasley says:

    @al-Ameda: I think it’s amazing that anyone still listens to anything Santorum has to say!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  21. CSK says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    It’s the comic value.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  22. Ron Beasley says:

    While she opposed the ACA she also said it is no longer practical to repeal it. Her opponent in the primary however ran on repeal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  23. Ron Beasley says:

    @CSK: Yes indeed, that must be it. He never was the sharpest knife in the kitchen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  24. CSK says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    Admit it, Ron. You were dying for him to give his long-promised speech to the American people on why birth control isn’t okay for married Christian couples–which presumes, of course, that it’s okay for married Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Shinto, atheist, agnostic, etc. couples.

    Comedy gold, as they say.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  25. Ron Beasley says:

    @CSK: That’s what it’s really about isn’t it – out breading the “others.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  26. PAUL HOOSON says:

    Surprised it’s even this close. Wehby appears to get intoxicated, gets involved in some disturbance and then a police report is filed. There are three police reports in recent years according to Politico and The Oregonian. – Strangely, this doctor makes house calls….but, as a stalker letting herself in uninvited. – When this candidate tells you she’s running on her record….she fails to mention these records are with the police. – When Monica Wehby won the primary, her friends had better lock up the liquor cabinet and monitor her celebration…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0