Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Rasmussen Post Primary: Ted 43%, Ron 41%, Ben Still AWOL

Yesterday they were locked behind the Premium Data area, but pollster Scott Rasmussen has thrown us Oregonians a scrap, giving the bare bones result on their first post-primary poll of the goobernor's race. The news is not altogether swell for Ted--he's well under the 50% safety mark for incumbents--but he's also at his popularity nadir after a bruising primary battle, and in previous polling appearing to be trending back upward after a long slide. Ted has both higher favorables and unfavorables than Ron, although at 52% favorable there is a fairly solid base of support on which to build (twice as many can't stand him as can't stand Ron, but Saxton's familiarity is also lower).

But the biggest mystery on this poll continues to be the absence of potential independent candidate Ben Westlund. Back in February perhaps it made sense, but it's either stubbornness or pure ignorance that leads Rasmussen to leave Westlund out of the poll. It's possible his number is buried in the 16% of voters not choosing Ted or Ron; that part of the survey is still behind the firewall. They may be don't knows and refusals, or "someone else" choices; we don't know. And with a 4.5 margin of error, Ted could be as high as 48 and as low as 38; Ron as high as 46 or as low as 36.

Interesting results; obviously we'll keep an eye on their progression during the campaign. And if Scott writes us back to explain Where's Westlund, I'll let you know.