Carrick Flynn, a first-time candidate and political unknown, took a lead in the Democratic primary after the cryptocurrency-backed Protect Our Future political action committee spent millions promoting his campaign. That’s according to polling paid for by a competing campaign.
The summary of poll results provided by Intel engineer Matt West’s campaign show that Flynn led with 18% of likely voters, 12 points ahead of former state Rep. Andrea Salinas, West and Cody Reynolds (a cryptocurrency investor who has run for office in the past), each with 6%. Another 38% of the vote is split among other candidates, and 37% of voters remained undecided. (The summary provided by the campaign does not break out the other candidates, who include Kathleen Harder, a doctor, and Loretta Smith, a former Multnomah County commissioner.)
According to the summary provided by the West campaign, the poll was conducted by Washington, D.C.-based GQR of 400 likely Democratic primary voters March 21-25, 2022.
Protect Our Future PAC has spent more than $7 million so far to elect Flynn, Federal Election Commission data shows. That PAC is backed by Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of the Bahamas-based cryptocurrency exchange FTX, the richest billionaire in crypto.
The poll was conducted well before House Majority PAC, a Democratic PAC aligned with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, took the unusual step of spending $1 million to back Flynn in the primary rather than focus on defeating Republicans in the general election.
Flynn’s own fundraising shows that most of his campaign money is coming from out of state, with just 10 donors officially listed in state. Yet Flynn’s campaign continues to say he’s been successful because of his message.
“Carrick has run a consistently positive campaign rooted in his personal story overcoming adversity, fighting poverty, and championing strong, healthy communities with an economy that works for all,” says Flynn campaign manager Avital Balwit. “These poll numbers, like others, have shown the power of that message in reaching voters across the 6th District. We are proud of the support we are earning, and will continue to focus on the priorities of Oregon voters in the weeks before the primary.”
The West campaign is taking the unusual step of releasing the poll results in an attempt to elicit outside interest in the campaign. Without competing expenditures, it appears to Flynn is set to win the Democratic nomination. The summary also shows poll results that suggest both Salinas and West could overtake Flynn if their personal biographies were put before voters.
“Institutional players should learn what the voters already know—that Matt West is the progressive candidate who will tax the rich and save the planet, and Carrick Flynn is the shadow cast by a billionaire in the Bahamas,” says Robin Logsdon, campaign manager for West. “The only way the billionaire wins is if no one fights back.”