Skip to comments.Poll shows Smith has strong lead over Bradbury for Senate
Posted on 05/13/2002 5:04:34 PM PDT by afuturegovernor
Poll shows Smith has strong lead over Bradbury for Senate
By: Harry Esteve and Tom Detzel
This article has been excerpted
A new, independent poll shows Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., with a solid lead in his effort to keep his job.
Smith leads his main Democratic challenger, Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury, 57 percent to 39 percent, according to the poll, paid for by The Oregonian and KATU (2). The poll, which surveyed voter opinions on statewide races in the May 21 primary, included a question about a Smith-Bradbury matchup in the fall.
Tim Hibbitts, whose Portland firm conducted the poll, said he expects the race to tighten up as the November general election nears. Bradbury's level of support represents a base he's not likely to lose, Hibbitts said.
The poll also shows Smith has a high favorability rating with voters and much higher name familiarity than Bradbury. Of those polled, 55 percent said they had a favorable or very favorable impression of Smith, compared to 37 percent for Bradbury.
People who participated in the survey said they appreciated Smith's work for farmers in the Klamath Basin. Others said they like Bradbury's pragmatic stands on social issues.
The statewide survey of 608 likely voters -- mostly those who voted in three of the past four elections -- was conducted over three evenings, May 7-9. It has a 4 percentage point margin of error.
Smith spokesman Chris Matthews downplayed the senator's early advantage. "There's a long road between here and November," Matthews said. Smith "is going to be running a very strong campaign no matter what the numbers say."
The poll results come on the heels of last week's campaign contribution reports that showed Smith with a large financial advantage over Bradbury. To date, Smith has collected more than $4 million in donations, compared to just less than $700,000 for Bradbury.
The race is being watched closely because it could become a factor in which party controls the closely divided Senate. Bradbury's campaign is working to show its candidate is a contender, which could lead to more financial backing from national groups that support Democrats.
Republicans said they are happy with Smith's lead -- but not complacent about it. "We're not taking any race for granted, and that includes Oregon," said Dan Allen, spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
Poll participant Lisa Daniels, a Democrat in Klamath Falls, said she will cross party lines to vote for Smith because "I appreciate what he's tried to do for the Klamath Basin water situation." Smith has been at the forefront of the fight to provide more water for farmers in the basin, even at the expense of endangered or threatened fish.
Good news for Oregon. We are trying to become a red state.......wish us well.
That said, Oregon has a history of electing a lot of moderate and liberal GOP'ers like Smith, Packwood(before he f'ed up), and Hatfield.
Smith isn't a liberal. His ACU ratings were 80% in 2001 and 84% in 2000. That would put on par with Senators like DeWine and Fitzgerald. A voting record in the low 80's is far from the moderate Republican ratings of Specter, Snowe, and Collins who are all in the high 50's or 60's. Liberal Republican Chafee is in 40's and former Republican Jeffords is in the high 20's.
According to the ACU website, Smith has voted for the Ashcroft nomination, increased defense spending, increased oil exploration, the Bush tax cut, and against the NE dairy compact, the international crimnal court, and against federal gun buy back programs.