FOX 12-OPB Poll shows big gap in Portland mayor's race - KPTV - FOX 12

FOX 12-OPB Poll shows big gap in Portland mayor's race

Posted: Updated: Oct 30, 2012 06:34 AM

With Election Day one week away, a FOX 12-OPB poll reveled some insight on the perceptions of voters as the big day nears.

The poll shows 44 percent are leaning toward Charlie Hales in the Portland mayor race and 25 percent are leaning toward Jefferson Smith. About 19 percent are still undecided.

"It's validation that what we're doing in this campaign is starting to work and we're reaching people," Hales said.  "They're looking for someone who knows how to get things done, knows how to bring people together, build consensus and take action.  That's really what people are hungry for in this city right now and that's really what I offer so it's nice that that is getting through."

Smith and his campaign said they're not letting the numbers discourage their efforts.

"We haven't taken any polls ourselves," Smith said. "When I started out the race, folks said I didn't have a chance so what we've been trying to do is do what we can do. Eighty percent of voters still have to cast their ballot so we've got to do everything we can to communicate with those voters."

The FOX 12/OPB poll also showed 29 percent of voters find Hales "somewhat favorable" whereas 21 percent found Smith "somewhat unfavorable."

"I certainly imagined that this was going to be a tough campaign.  There's a lot we want to do for the city.  And at every moment, whether it's facing poll results or facing a challenging day, the question is: quit or work?  And we choose to work," Smith said.

Meanwhile, in the presidential race, the poll showed a closer race: 42 percent of Oregon voters are leaning towards or voting for Republican candidate Mitt Romney whereas 49 percent are siding with President Barack Obama.

There's a stark difference among Portland voters and Oregon voters, however. In Portland, voters favor President Obama. Fifty percent found him "very favorable" whereas 52 percent found Romney "very unfavorable."

The rest of the state shows more evenly-divided numbers, with 26 percent finding Romney "very favorable" and 37 percent "very unfavorable," where as 35 percent find Obama "very favorable and 32 percent find him "very unfavorable."

FOX 12 Political Analyst Tim Hibbitts from DHM Research said it's no surprise Obama is very popular in Portland and Romney is very unpopular.

As for the state as a whole, Hibbitts said it's not uncommon for the incumbent to lose popularity. Both candidates are holding their party base very well, Hibbitts added, but many independent voters who supported Obama in 2008 no longer do, making this year a much closer race.

Still, Hibbitts said the result won't be a surprise.

"I fully expect President Obama to win Oregon and probably win it by a comfortable margin.  There are very few undecided voters left, only 4 percent. And I don't think Gov. Romney will get all of those in any event," he said.

The poll also asked voters if Oregon is moving in the right direction. Of those who responded, 45 percent said yes and 42 percent said no.

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