Merkley WILL challenge Smith & Poll shows Novick behind 23%

The Willamette Week is declaring boldly that House Speaker Jeff Merkley will indeed announce his challenge to Sen. Gordon Smith. The newspaper says three solid sources confirm the rumor. If true, count it as another big scoop by the WW team.

On a similar note, The Hill reports a poll by Novick’s campaign shows Smith leading Novick by 23% (50-27%). The poll shows Novick at 46% name ID, and other Smith challengers, radio host Jeff Golden and business owner Eileen Brady at 43%. (Have you heard of them?)