Monday, February 27, 2006

Rasmussen: Teddy the K -AND- Jim Hill Whipping GOP Candidates

Noted (and mildly right-leaning) robopoller Rasmussen has released their latest poll on the Oregon goobernor's race, and for all the intraparty tussling by state Democrats, among the electorate anything with a (D) is still good enough for them:
Both Democrats lead all Republican challengers, but Kulongoski does better than Hill against each Republican campaigning for his job. Kulongoski leads Kevin Mannix 51% to 36%. But Hill also enjoys a comfortable lead over Mannix, 47% to 35%.

Kulongoski leads Republican Ron Saxton 47% to 33%. Hill leads Saxton 44% to 31%. When the Republican opponent is state Senator Jason Atkinson, Kulongoski leads 48% to 36% and Hill leads 42% to 36%.
As I said, editor Scott Rasmussen tends to trend right, so it's no surprise that his lede is not "Democrats currently a lock to retain executive," but that Kulongoski holds just a 50% approval rating and faces a strong primary challenge*. Even that spin looks like good news, since Survey USA's last goobernor's poll had Teddy the K at a dismal 38% approval and trending downward.

Somewhat more remarkable is Jim Hill's performance; despite generally low name recognition throughout the state, he still pulls over 40% regardless of his general election opponent. In fact, all three GOP candidates' numbers are similar vs either Dem candidate, which strengthens the notion that whatever happens in May, at the moment Oregon is a safe "hold" for Democrats in November.

As one more subtle indication of Rasmussen's bent, note that even Jim Atkinson got a test ballot; but not his Democratic equivalent, Pete Sorenson.

*not only does he have an odd lede, the headline for the Oregon story gives Colorado candidate for governor Dave Ritter the edge...!

Update, noon: As Blue Oregon notes and I neglected to mention, the poll does not include Ben Westlund, the independent candidate. While there has been much debate about which party's base his candidacy hurts more, for now I think it's reasonable to assume that voters would back Westlund in roughly equal proportions from either party. If anything, it may take more votes from the Republican side given Westlund's party history. So while it would have been nice to include Westlund, at this stage I don't think including him would have significantly altered the overall results.