Oregon: TV Stations Are Polls Apart in Senate Primary

Posted May 13, 2008 at 7:05pm

Two polls released this week showed slightly different results in the increasingly competitive and bitter race for the Democratic Senate nomination. In both polls, the number of undecided voters was sky-high — an especially significant result considering the all-mail primary is Tuesday.

In a survey taken May 8-10 for The Portland Tribune/KPTV, lawyer and Democratic activist Steve Novick was on top with 29 percent, followed by state Speaker Jeff Merkley with 23 percent and realtor Candy Neville with 3 percent. A full 43 percent of those surveyed were undecided.

The poll of 400 likely primary voters, conducted by Davis, Hibbitts & Midghall Inc., had a 5-point margin of error.

Meanwhile, an automated poll by SurveyUSA conducted for KATU-TV May 9-11 showed Merkley with 31 percent and Novick with 27 percent. Neville had 11 percent, three other candidates had a combined 6 percent, and 24 percent of those queried were undecided.

The poll of 615 likely primary voters had a 4-point error margin.

The primary winner will take on two-term Sen. Gordon Smith (R) in November. National Democratic leaders have largely cast their lot with Merkley.

— Josh Kurtz