Where things stand

polldataA review of polls on major issues.
By Taxpayer Association Oregon PAC

We are officially heading into the final 30 days of the election. That means voters will be endure a blizzard of campaign TV, radio and direct mail advertisements. It is estimated that several millions of dollars of campaign activities will be spent during this condensed month to secure or sway public opinion on over a hundred candidates and ballot issues. Before it begins, it is an important lesson in understanding Oregonians to look at their first impression feelings on major decision points of the election.

For starters, the governor’s race began with a weak governor, with incumbent John Kitzhaber netting 46% support and challenger Dennis Richardson with a close 44% support. Unsure voters stood at nearly 1 out of 10 voters with 8%. Other polls showed variations on these numbers. It looks like a long year of headlines involving the governor created a weakening of his support.

The GMO food labeling law, Measure 92, is one race being watched nationwide as many other states look to Oregon to see if GMO labeling will become a state-by-state trend or a fledgling policy. There was votes on this issue by two Oregon counties just months ago in the May primary. Yet, what makes this measure different is the fact that it has extraordinary level of unsure voters. An earlier poll put support at 53%, No at 21% and unsure at 26%. More than 1 out of 4 voters are undecided on this measure. With 53% support, it is along education road ahead for opponents.

The other Oregon measure being watched by other states is our measure to legalize marijuana. Oregon had become an early state to approve medical marijuana. Following that were many ambitious outgrowth ballot measures that never shared the similar victory. Now that Washington and Colorado have approved legalization, there is renewed hope for legalization in Oregon for supporters. Polling showed that they have early support of 44% and opposition of 40%. Roughly 16% are unsure. This means Oregon heads into the final weeks as a nail biter.  It is also interesting that the number of unsure has doubled from 8% in early summer to 16% now by the same pollster KATU-2.

Oregon has an idea to revisit how it elects candidates with the top-2 primary ballot measure. This measure would allow people to vote for any political candidate during a primary. Like the GMO measure the most interesting indicator of this measure is the fact that polling has it as 23% undecided. That is nearly 1 of out 4 four voters is unsure of their vote. Support was gauged at 34% and opposition at 43%. The hurdle for proponents is the ability to explain a more complex topic to voters with limited time and money.

Finally we have the driver’s card measure 88. Illegal immigration has been a national debate all year long and so it is interesting to see it played out on a state by state level, even by states not close to the border Polling has opposition to driver’s card at 67% and support at 27%. Those undecided are at 5%. This makes it among the most difficult measures to pass on the ballot. The issue’s national connection also showcases people’s frustration with Washington for not fixing the illegal immigration problem. Federal failures end up punishing the states.

Keep this article and check back after the election to measure the difference.

— Sources & links to above:  Please look for more in-depth  information on these races here. Measure#90 Oregonian 9-3-14. M#91 & 92 – Survey USA & KATU-TV 6-6-14 and Survey USA KATU-TV 9-25-14. In-depth polling data for their August poll here (Sept data not available).. Governor’s Race. Wenzell Strategies June-2014.  M#88 NW Marketing Direct 9-2-14 Measure 88 landslide. poll recapPoll in-depth data.