The results of a new poll released by Oregon Public Broadcasting show that incumbent Mayor Ted Wheeler has made up some ground on challenger Sarah Iannarone, moving the candidates basically even.
The OPB poll, conducted by the Portland firm DHM Research, found Iannarone leading Wheeler 34% to 33% with nearly another third of voters undecided. The margin of error in the poll is 4.9%, which means either candidate could be ahead.
Today's result shows a closer race than a late September poll, also done by DHM, that WW reported on earlier. That poll showed Iannarone with an 11-point lead. The earlier DHM poll also showed newcomer Mingus Mapps leading incumbent Commissioner Chloe Eudaly by 16 points. Today's poll shows that lead has narrowed to 9 percentage points.
With many Portland voters having already received their ballots for the Nov. 3 election, the campaigns are working to find ways to communicate with voters in a socially distant environment where spiking rates of COVID-19 infection make door-knocking and face-to-face voter contact untenable.
Iannarone today released details of a pilot guaranteed basic income project she'd like to launch if elected: She'd give $1,000 a month for a year to "low-income Black mothers."
The program would cost about $1.8 million and put into practice a concept presidential candidate Andrew Yang highlighted in his campaign but that has been around for centuries.
"Guaranteed basic income is an idea whose time has come," Iannarone said in a statement. "The wealth inequality revealed by the pandemic has led to massively increased support for a common-sense policy to alleviate poverty through direct aid. While Portland can't currently give every deserving low-income person the money they need to escape poverty, I am confident we can direct funds to a group who will achieve better outcomes, as we've seen in other cities."
Meanwhile, United for Portland, the independent expenditure campaign formed recently to support Wheeler's candidacy, announced today that two additional labor groups have joined: the Northwest Labor Council and the National Electrical Contractors Association.
Although United for Portland also includes labor groups such as Service Employees International Union Local 49, the Columbia Pacific Building Trades Council, and the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters, campaign finance filings show the $250,000 United for Portland has raised so far has come from business interests, including the Portland Metro Association of Realtors ($150,000) and the Portland Business Alliance ($50,000, in-kind).