Only 33% of likely voters believe Merkley deserves another term

Merkley, Jeff-020609-18427- 0008

Magellan Strategies BR

Baton Rouge, La. – Magellan Strategies BR’s statewide Oregon survey results show U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley’s reelection campaign may have to make a stronger than expected push with Oregon voters next fall.  When asked if Merkley had performed his job well enough to deserve another term, only 33% of likely midterm voters supported his reelection (25% definitely reelect), while 43% felt that it is time to give a new person a chance (34% definitely new person).

Although most political prognosticators rate the state as a relatively safe hold for Democrats next year, Merkley’s troubles could be a sign of voter frustration with the Obamacare rollout and a signal of trouble for Democrat incumbents nationwide.

“Despite winning this seat with less than a majority in 2008, most pundits believe that Jeff Merkley is headed to an easy victory in 2014,” said John Diez, Jr., Principal of Magellan Strategies BR. “These survey results paint a different picture. Although the election is still eleven months away and a Republican opponent has not yet been chosen, the incumbent obviously has some repair work to do with the electorate.”

Merkley’s reelect numbers seem to be weighed down by his support of key pieces of President Obama’s agenda. In particular, his vote against an amendment to the 2009 Affordable Care Act that would have guaranteed people the choice to keep their current healthcare insurance plan is causing problems for the first term U.S. Senator (54% less likely to support). After being read a series of statements about Merkley’s support for some of the President’s initiatives, respondents were asked again whether he deserved reelection. Fifty-four percent of respondents felt that it is time give a new person a chance.

In addition, the survey shows that a majority of likely Oregon voters (54%) disapprove of the job that Barack Obama is doing as President. Republicans also enjoy a slight 4-point advantage on the generic ballot in the state.

Magellan Strategies BR surveyed 2,039 likely Oregon voters between December 9th and December 10th, 2013. The margin of error was 2.1% at a 95% confidence interval. The results were weighted based on historic turnout percentages according to data maintained by the Oregon Secretary of State. This survey was not authorized or paid for by any campaign or political organization. The survey was conducted using automated telephone technology.

Click here for the full survey results.