The race for Portland mayor will be whittled down to two candidates Tuesday night in Oregon's primary election.
A new FOX 12-OPB poll from DHM Research shows a bit of separation between Portland's three main mayoral candidates, with candidates Charlie Hales and Jefferson Smith favored to advance to a runoff in November. If that happens, it means New Seasons co-founder Eileen Brady would be eliminated from the race.
During the course of the race, FOX 12 political analyst Tim Hibbitts said Brady's message has strayed, while Hales' focus has been clear.
"The Hales campaign focused in particular on the delivery of basic services, getting things done, doing them right, getting the streets paved," Hibbitts said. "And I think his emphasis on that may have helped him with some of these older voters and may have moved some of them from her to him."
Brady, however, said Monday it remained a tight race. She said voters are excited about her candidacy.
"It's anybody's ball game," she said. "It all depends on who votes. The real poll is (Tuesday) at the ballots."
"We're very encouraged that, as people study the race and think about it and ponder this vote, they see three strong candidates. But one, in my case, is strong and ready to hit the ground running because I know city government," Hales said.
Smith, meanwhile, believes he'll be in the runoff for the November election but preferred to wait for Tuesday night's results rather than celebrate an improvement in recent polls.
"We didn't fixate too much on polls when they showed us different than what they're showing us now. And we're not going to fixate too much on them now," he said. "We're just going to communicate with voters on what we're trying to do with the city."
Unlike the race between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney this year, Hibbitts said the local mayoral candidates are very similar, so it's not uncommon for voters to wake up on Election Day and change their pick for mayor.
FOX 12's coverage of the Oregon primary election starts at 8 p.m. on PDX TV.
Copyright 2012 KPTV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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