Not a great day on the political horse-race front for Oregon
Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Kitzhaber
First came this morning's front-page piece
on fund-raising in The Oregonian
detailing how Republican Chris Dudley,
a rookie candidate (albeit one with name recognition from his NBA career), is outdistancing a veteran pol like Kitzhaber, a former two-term governor and ex-president of the Oregon Senate.
Then there's this new poll
from Rasmussen Reports (yes, the polling outfit that Democrats say is full of it) showing Dudley maintaining a small lead over Kitzhaber. Dudley's 3-percentage-point lead is within the survey's margin of sampling error. But given the general pessimism about the economy among survey respondents, the most troubling number in this poll for Kitzhaber is this: "Seventy-nine percent (79%) of voters who think the economy is improving favor Kitzhaber. Seventy-three percent (73%) of those who say it is worsening support Dudley."
And then, as reported on BlueOregon
, Swing State Project has moved
the Oregon gubernatorial race from "Likely D" to "Tossup." I found the most interesting part about BlueOregon's discussion with the Swing State people to be the comparison of the Oregon race to the California gubernatorial contest.
In California, ex-Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, faces wealthy Republican Meg Whitman in his bid to return to the job. When I was in California a couple weeks back, the news was filled with stories about Brown's advisers trying to re-assure supporters that Whitman's large fund-raising advantage—and ability to dominate TV with ads—didn't matter so much because Brown was already well-known to Californians. The problem with that contention is that polls
showed younger voters had much less idea who Brown was and that Whitman's ads were doing the defining for them.
A lesson for Kitzhaber, who left the governor's office in 2003?