The race for Portland mayor is a dead heat, with a new poll showing that state Rep. Jefferson Smith is gaining late momentum, and that businesswoman Eileen Brady is making no progress with voters despite spending nearly $1 million on her campaign.
The poll was conducted by DHM Research for Oregon Public Broadcasting and Fox-12. The survey asked 400 likely Portland voters whom they would cast a ballot for in the May 15 primary. The poll has former city commissioner Charlie Hales with 25 percent, businesswoman Eileen Brady with 23 percent, Jefferson Smith with 20 percent. Another 28 percent is undecided.
The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percent—and that means the three leading candidates for mayor are essentially tied. The poll was taken April 28-30, just as ballots were going out in the mail.
The numbers show a big difference from a poll conducted for KATU in late February: Hales and Smith have gained, while Brady hasn't budged.
Rebecca Ball with DHM told OPB and Fox 12 that the poll shows Brady "hasn’t made hardly any progress—she has stalled."
The poll also suggests far more momentum for Smith. A poll recently released by the Hales campaign showed Hales in about the same place, but Smith lagging 10 points behind Hales and Brady. That poll was conducted in late March.
The DHM poll also shows a close race for city council between Commissioner Amanda Fritz and her chllenenger, state Rep. Mary Nolan. The poll has Fritz leading Nolan, 32 percent to 25 percent, with 40 percent of voters undecided. Three lesser-known candidates have a combined 3 percent.
If no candidate in the mayor's race or the city council campaign get a majority of votes in the May primary, the top two finishers enter a runoff in November.