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New Poll Shows Clinton, Brown Ahead, But Measure 97 Will Be Close

Lorie Shaull via Wikimedia Commons
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaking at the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, D.C. on March, 21, 2016.

A new poll conducted for OPB shows Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and incumbent Gov. Kate Brown with commanding leads in their campaigns.

But it contains not-so-great news for the Democratic Party’s candidate for secretary of state and the coalition of progressive and labor groups pushing Measure 97.

DHM Research surveyed 600 Oregonians from Oct. 6-13. The margin of error on the survey is plus or minus 4 percent.

In the presidential race, Hillary Clinton has a strong, but still single digit, lead over Donald Trump in Oregon, 43 percent to 36 percent.

Clinton’s support grew to 45 percent – compared to the same 36 percent for Trump – among those who said they were certain to vote.

A majority of people polled had negative opinions of both Trump and Clinton – 54 percent of those surveyed said they have a somewhat or very negative view of Clinton and 66 percent said the same of Trump. That level of animosity is unprecedented, pollsters said.

Want more details? Read the October statewide survey.

Still, neither Libertarian Gary Johnson nor Green Party nominee Jill Stein polled over 10 percent.

The Trump campaign initially said it would attempt to compete in Oregon, but neither major presidential campaign has invested much money or manpower here.


Oregon voters haven’t elected a Republican governor since 1982, and it doesn’t look like that will change this fall.

The new poll shows Gov. Kate Brown with a commanding lead over her Republican challenger, Salem oncologist Bud Pierce: 46 percent of those polled said they would vote for Brown, and 33 percent said they would vote for Pierce.

Name recognition appears to be a big problem for Pierce, who is running his first political campaign. Fifty-five percent of those polled said they had “no impression” of Pierce. Even 46 percent of Republicans said they had no impression of him.

In contrast, just 20 percent of those polled said they have no impression of Brown, a former state legislator and secretary of state.


Another statewide race is tight: Oregon Secretary of State candidate Dennis Richardson could become the first Republican elected to statewide office in 14 years, according to the poll.

The DHM Research survey shows 34 percent of Oregonians polled support Richardson, and 29 percent support his Democratic challenger, Brad Avakian. The poll’s margin of error means the race is essentially a dead heat with three weeks to go until election day. And one in four voters told pollsters they don’t know which candidate they will support.

Richardson and Avakian are both comparatively well known: Richardson is a former state legislator and candidate for governor. Avakian is Oregon’s current labor commissioner.

Much of Avakian’s problems come from within his own party: According to the poll, just under three quarters of Republican voters said they support Richardson. Just over half the Democrats polled said they support Avakian, who won 40 percent of the vote in a hotly contested May primary against state Rep. Val Hoyle and state Sen. Richard Devlin.

Through September, Democrats made up 39 percent of the electorate, compared to the Republican Party’s 28 percent.


Oregon voters appear poised to approve three ballot measures that will impact state budgets. But weeks of attack ads have taken a toll on public support on another — Measure 97.

The poll shows a strong majority of Oregon voters support Measures 96 and 99, which would guarantee lottery money for veteran’s services and outdoor school programs. Oregonians also support Measure 98, which would require school districts to spend more on dropout prevention and college readiness programs.

But the survey suggests Measure 97 will be a nail biter. When it comes to the ballot measure to increase taxes on companies with more than $25 million in annual sales in Oregon, 43 percent of poll respondents said they plan to vote for it. But 48 percent said they’re voting no, and 10 percent were undecided.

A similar poll taken in September showed six in 10 Oregonians supported Measure 97. Corporations and business groups have spent millions on ads this fall attacking the measure.

Copyright 2016 Oregon Public Broadcasting