What to make of the governor poll bombshell!

Wow! What a poll. The latest KATU/Oregonian poll shows Gop Pimary=Saxton 31%, Mannix 24%, Atkinson 18%. Democrat Primary = Kulongoski 43%, Jim Hill 30%, Sorenson 8%. You can catch the detailed numbers (gender breakdown, etc.) here

This poll brings up several questions: Is Kulongoski’s 43% a showing of strength or weakness? Saxton big lead — how did he do it? Is it all over, or are the margins still too close? Could Mannix still pull an upset? We need answers, do tell!

  • Jay Bozievich

    My biggest comment on the poll is the anemic size of the polling base and the huge margin of error. 300 respondants for a statewide poll hardly makes it a statistically accurate device and the over 5% margin of error I think is understated.

    Looking at the high undecided’s, this is still an open horse race in both primaries.

    (I wonder why they did not spend just a little bit more money and get a larger base? Was there a reason behind Hibbets not going the next step? OR was it more important to get Tim’s comments in the paper and spending the least on the poll kept it cheap?)

  • Anonymous

    The primary is objectively wide open. Full results of the poll here:

    Hard results had Saxton-26, Mannix-23, and Atkinson-15 — the numbers you listed were adding how the undecideds leaned. Overwhelming 35% are still undecided.

    Another thing to look at is that 55% of those asked had never heard of Atkinson. One thing is certain: Had Atkinson been able to pull away some of Saxton’s fundraising earlier on(the money folks who thought Saxton was the GOP’s only shot at winning) he’d either be leading or in second.

    Mannix’s unfav’s are 23%; Saxton’s are 13%, and Atkinson’s are 4%. The poll says 4% of undecideds are leaning toward Saxton, and 3% toward Atkinson (but the sample sizes here make those numbers totally meaningless). With Mannix and Saxton beating each other up on Portland TV, I’d imagine that both their negatives continue to rise.

    I think we can fairly deduce

    1) that the 35% will break more toward Saxton and Atkinson than to Mannix, considering Mannix’s sizable neg’s (especially in PDX after the Willamette Week story).

    2) We can also reason that more of the undecideds have heard of Saxton than of Atkinson.

    3) We also know that Saxton’s negatives are higher than Atkinson’s, and that they will likely continue to increase.

    The question is whether JA can make himself visible enough in the last days to pull a significant enough number of them over — and whether Mannix’s ads will make them dislike Saxton enough for them to move to Atkinson by default.

    The most difficult situation belongs to Mannix. To win, he’d have to go negative on Atkinson to help pull the undecideds his way (which he likely won’t have money for) — but that will also raise JA’s name ID and make him a more viable alternative than someone completely unknown.

    The race appears to be between Saxton and Atkinson.

  • chris bishop

    Anonymous provides a great analysis but forgets one thing – no one campaigns harder than Mannix and no one has grass root support like Mannix. Those who traditionally show up and vote in the Republican Primary most likely will not support Saxton as the poll reflects. Does anyone remember what happened in 2002? Saxton and Roberts were leading and then Saxton finished third! That was a shock to those who do not understand the Primary politics. With the right to life support and most likely many of the conservative Christians, Mannix with pull ahead in the end. No worries here. Atkinson, even though he looks to spoil, will most likely not get many of the undecided who have never heard of him before. If Mannix loses, it will be because he went too much to the center and failed to capitalize on the gay marriage and Measure 37 issues – both of whcih Saxton is weak on. Either way, Teddy K looks vulnerable and 2006 could be the year Republicans get the Governor’s seat but continue to slide in the House and Senate.

  • Knows It All

    Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha!!! I’m getting a good laugh out of the Mannix and Atkinson supporters. I’m a good friend and business associates of another polling guy and the best information shows that Saxton will take it all.
    The most current ads by Mannix on Measure 11 are old news and pathetic. And Atkinson’s ads are all but non-existant in the Portland Metro Area. Keep in mind that half the state wide vote is in three counties – where Saxton will win by a wide margin.
    You can talk about all the “Conservative Christians” you want – but they won’t swing an election. Just like they didn’t for Denny Smith or Bill Sizemore. (Remember their “great” campaigns?)

    • I hear on an almost daily basis from friends in the political world that they are sick and tired of the “religious right” controlling the Republican Party and the conservative movement in general. I also hear that pandering to the “evangelical” Christian voters out there is a “gimmick”, and a political tactic of the *Karl Roves* of the world to prey on the fears and prejudices of this group; scaring them out of the churches and into the ballot box.

      To take such an antagonistic view towards the “religious right” and disparage them as being uneducated and easily manipulated discounts the real truth about the re-emergence of the Bible-believing masses that are finally finding their social views and religious represented in our Government.

      It is incorrect to assume that these hated “evangelicals” are new on the scene or that this is just a fad. Religion in politics is not new, and not nearly as large a threat to liberty and freedom as some may contend.

      Religious individuals; meaning those that believed in a higher power than themselves; founded this nation on the belief that all the fundamental liberties quietly being eroded today were not derived out the wisdom of their human invention. Rather they asserted that they had been given these rights by *God*, and that all liberties came out of a belief that all men are inherently equal in God’s eyes, and therefore should be given the same rights, responsibilities and free will that God gave each of us.

      The modern Christian conservative movement may have diverged from this inherent wisdom of liberty being tied to a small and un-intrusive government. They use the power of government to legislate morality and establish boundaries, while simultaneously failing to recognize that this earth is under the dominion of God, not the President, the Congress, or some other man-made creation. They seek to preserve the erosion of a corrupt and sinful world by creating more government, ignoring the fact that this world is filled with evil that no government can destroy or control.

      Often, they create institutions to promote themselves and attend mega-churches where Biblical teaching is light on substance and conviction, and heavy on “feel-good” religiosity and “Sunday-only” Christianity. This frightens those who don’t understand or refuse to accept the existence of God, and intimidates more reasoned Christians from speaking out about intermixing religion and government for fear of being viewed as “not zealous” enough.

      Knowing all this, some politicians see opportunities to use this organization that the evangelicals have created (that is much more powerful and permanent than any union or political coalition) to get themselves elected.

      The real problem is that most people fail to recognize that “evangelicals” are nothing new, and the rise of the modern Christian in politics is not a fad.

      The very first evangelicals had names like John, Mark, Luke, Paul, and Peter. Since the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus, evangelical Christians have been trying to influence the world around them. Throughout history, religion and the acceptance or rejection of Christianity has been found on every continent, every nation, and every people of the planet…including our own country.

      Religious individuals and evangelical Christians were the impetus behind the founding of the original 13 colonies, mainly seeking shelter from oppressive governments corrupted by politicians and pontiffs using religion as an instrument of control. These same colonists sought their justification for independence from England from the words of the Apostles in the New Testament. Free-markets and free-minds is a Biblical concept, and comes from the free will that the God of the Christians has given every person to accept or reject him.

      Christians seek to influence politics out of different motivations than most other political entities. They don’t typically seek to regulate behavior or impose new restrictions out of the motivation of personal self-interest. Unlike business interests, union goons, and public employees…their only stake in their government is to create a place where our fellow citizens may experience the liberation of a life with reasonable accountability and justice for all citizens.

      Further, Most Christians are not in favor of a larger or bureaucratic government. They react in political waves, motivated by candidates that share their fervor and view of human existence. They recognize and relish in the inherent yearning to be free that we all feel, and in most cases, bring a level of intellectual and moral purity to the very corrupt world of politics.

      Now, I know there are the Pat Robertson’s and Jerry Falwell’s of the world that gain the most media attention when they say something stupid or inappropriate…but for every one of those self-serving politically-savvy preachers, there are a hundred honest and meek teachers of the Bible around the country. For every loud-mouthed, spite-filled Minister, there are a thousand quiet, modest individual Christians who live reasonably good lives and add to the moral fabric of our society.

      To relegate those who claim to believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as I do, to the ranks of the unintelligent and jingoistic, ignores the fact that most Christians are private and un-intrusive about their faith in God and their desire to see his will done in the world.

      Candidates that seek to use Christianity as a tool of winning elections walk a fine line between using God as a political tactic while yet holding fast to their beliefs when challenged about their justification for policy positions. Candidates like Kevin Mannix and Jason Atkinson don’t come to their positions against abortion-on-demand from a desire to win elections. That is a tough position to take, and reflects their willingness to believe in the Bible’s interpretation of when life begins… This position may be politically controversial, but ultimately admirable as an indication of a candidate’s integrity.

      Don’t dismiss the religious right with contempt and scorn…especially when we see a chance to elect a Republican Governor. The religious voters are a bloc that we can’t ignore, and would be wise not to insult. They have transcended every nation and government since their inception, and there is no more widespread and influential group of people anywhere in the world.

      Here in Oregon, those of us who profess a belief in God, and those of us who seek to protect the unborn and deliver justice to the unjust, have a great obligation to not intrude on personal liberty or seek to use the government to impose our will on the people who do not share this belief. Instead, we need to promote candidates who share our views on limited government, focus less on regulating morality, and more on living it. We also need to temper our speech, to make sure that we don’t turn people off to what most of us consider to be the greatest joy in our lives, our belief in God.

      We must support our candidates who share our views, but be careful to not appear to lack substance or vote on single-issues alone.

      • Your comment was one of the most reasoned explanations for why it’s “ok” or even favorable for Christians to be involved in politics. As a Christian myself whose political concern was raised from slumber in the run-up to the 2000 preidential election and heightened with 9/11, I often face other Christians who tell me I shouldn’t be involved in poltics at all because it’s “un-Christian”. Thank you for giving me the well-articulated arguments I can share with them.

  • Richard of Portland Son of John

    I think we are screwed in the general election. We have two gold diggers (Maix, and Saxton) and one one who I support, hads a good ideas,but dosent know how to run a campaign. Atkinson.

    Manix hs been agling for the nomination when we was haed of the rpublican part of Oregon andsaxtion,the libral republican appears on Lars Larson and thow out some red meat to Anti immigrant nativist to give the illusion he moved to them right and get Lars’ blessing. So much for conservative talk radio. I expect if Manix or Saxton wins they will buy in to the myth that a republican has shift to the center to win. Once again the republicans will think they have to out democrat a democrat and the democrats will just have to point out why vote for some republican democrat want to be when one can vote for real democrat deal and we will end up with 6 more yeas of democrat rule.

  • Clearly, Mannix is the fiscal conservative and social conservative, as is Atkinson. Saxton is the RINO in the group. But Atkinson doesn’t have a chance, and is largely an unknown outside of his home turf. His day will come; he’s only 35 and has plenty of years to get his name out there for another gubernatorial run in the future.
    Meanwhile, it would be a good idea if the Atkinson team saw the writing on the wall and urged their supporters to back Mannix. Yes, I know it’s not what campaigners do…but hey, if conservatives banded together and propelled Mannix into the lead, and he does the great job I know he will…Mannix has paved the way for Atkinson to take the baton four or eight years from now. Jason will have learned how to run a more effective campaign and will be better known around the state as more Republicans learn of his record as a rock-solid Republican senator.

  • Richard K

    Jay, Thank you for your honesty and saying what we all know to be true.

    Chris, Well Said, NOBODY campaigns harder than Kevin, maybe its because of the strong work ethic he instill in his supporters, and that his staff is truely passionate about their calling. (My observations as a recentally transistioned (reformed) volunteer to the Mannix team
    (From 05 to April I was a volunteer for Jason)

    Know’s it all, Sounds like Anon 137(NW Republican)…Felix Schein. With the primary only 8 days away do you really have the time to BLOG. I’m my own boss, set my own hours and do what I want while making a great living for a 23 year old doing what I love. I’m sure Ron would be disappointed to say the least

    Tim, I can’t wait to thank you personally for what you have written. I was tuely moved and am speachless, I’ll seek you out on the 16th.

    Richard, In a blue state Republican’s have to go “moderate” to win, although with kulo polling so low in his own priamry and westlund taking 4 of 5 from Ted. GOP will take the Governors office for the first time in my lifetime.

    Lucy, I wish their were more Christian Conseratives who thought like you. I am Jason’s biggest fan; however as a political scientist, (economist, and small business owner) I understand that
    1. Kevin and Jason share the same conserative ideal’s I was rasied with
    2. It is Kevin’s Time
    3. A vote for Jason realistically not matter how good your intentions, is a vote for Saxton
    4. Jason will have his day…just not today.
    If more Conseratives realized that Jason is taking voted from Kevin, and understood that their best chance of keeping a Conserative, Pro-Life canidate in the General is to back Kevin…they would also understand why Kevin’s biggest obstical this election cycle is the Priamry not the General. Kevin is going to run all over Ted in November.

    Your Comments?

    • Anonymous


      As a Democrat I have to agree with your statement that a vote for Aktkinson is a vote for Saxton. I think this comes down to a dog fight between Mannix and Saxton.

      If I was to play Democratic strategist I think both candidates bring their own challanges to run against.

      Saxton is pretty liberal in terms of social program, but fiscially conservative. I’m not sure what Saxton’s numbers are outside the Portland area, but they can’t be that great. He is as far left as you can get being a Republican. His weakness is he runs on the platform of wanting to fire all the public employees. That will energize public employee unions.

      Mannix on the other hand has pretty solid name recognition, but hasn’t been able to win a race in a long time. He’s very conservative and will likely run an all out attack campaign against whomever wins the nomination for the Democrats. I’m not sure how all the out of state money will play into his campaign. He’s got a rich out of state (perverted) buddy with lots of money to throw at his campaign.

      Then throw into the mix Westlund running as a independant. He will definately pull votes from Mannix for those who are looking for someone more moderate. I’m not sure how he would effect Saxton if he won the nomination. My guess is Saxton and Westlund would be going after similar voters.