PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - The race for Portland's next mayor is neck and neck, according to the results of a recent poll.
The poll, conducted by DHM Research for OPB in early October, also showed about 27 percent of the 400 people polled still don't know who they're going to vote for or write in.
"It's clear that things have been narrowing, the race is becoming more competitive," Political analyst with DHM Research, John Horvick, said.
Poll results show that incumbent Mayor Ted Wheeler and challenger Sarah Iannarone are essentially tied 33 to 34 percent, Horvick explained.
Six percent of voters said they plan on writing in Teressa Raiford, who founded Don't Shoot Portland, one of the groups at the forefront of the recent demonstrations in the city.
Wheeler and Iannarone participated in a virtual forum Friday where they answered questions about issues like economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the nightly protests in the Rose City.
"The way we're going to stop the violence is by arresting people and holding them accountable for criminal activity," Mayor Wheeler said during the forum.
Iannarone fired back with criticism on how things have been handled.
"The mayor is talking about the need to end the nightly violence, and I don't believe that we're going to see an end to that on his watch," Iannarone said.
Horvick said Iannarone leans further left than Wheeler, and the local unrest around racial injustice and police brutality creates an environment for a challenger to do well.
"There's a deep dissatisfaction with the direction of this community," Horvick said.
Horvick says it is unusual to see more than a quarter of voters polled claiming to be undecided, but told FOX 12 part of that can be attributed to the current political climate on the national stage and the attention around the presidential race.
"It's really difficult to break through locally now when there's so much happening at the national level," Horvick said.
According to the poll, homelessness is still the biggest issue Portlanders want to see tackled, despite the ongoing pandemic and the recent social unrest.
Both candidates have agreed that there's more work to be done to solve the city's homelessness problem.
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