In Oregon Obama may have a solid lead, but it’s an unimpressive one

Oregon competitive? Really?


It seems like hardly a day goes by in which there isn’t a presidential poll to chew on. Some are good, some are bad, but more than anything else, they are inexact instruments that are open to interpretation.

Consider SurveyUSA’s recent Oregon poll, which found Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney by a slim four points.

Since Oregon is widely considered a likely or solidly Democratic state in November — and the president carried it by 17 percentage points in 2008 — the finding created a bit of chatter. The state hasn’t gone Republican at the presidential level since 1984 so a 4-point edge seems incongruous.

Here’s how Jeff Mapes of the Oregonian read the poll:

Oregon Republicans would certainly be cheered to hear that Mitt Romney is running just four points behind President Barack Obama in the state. And that’s exactly what a new poll from SurveyUSA found.

It puts Obama at 47 percent and Romney, the likely Republican nominee, at 43 percent. That’s not a bad result for Republicans, given that most pundits put the state solidly in Obama’s camp.

The only problem is that the SurveyUSA poll doesn’t sample enough Democrats. The poll of 1,468 registered voters including this party breakdown:

Democrats: 38 percent
Republicans: 35 percent
Other: 27 percent

But in the fall, it’s almost certain that Democrats will cast a higher percentage of the votes in Oregon…

If the SurveyUSA sample looked more like the 2010 election, Obama would widen his lead over Romney by several points. And Democrats will likely cast an even higher percentage of the vote this fall than they did in 2010.

Maybe Oregon will become a swing state, but this poll doesn’t show it.

Here’s how Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey viewed it:

The sample in this poll uses registered voters, a survey type that normally tilts a little more toward Democrats. The split might tilt more toward Republicans, though, with a D/R/I of 38/35/27. The D/R/I in 2008 was 36/27/37, and given that independents break more for Obama in this poll (44/33), the difference could be having a substantial impact on the results.

The other internals are intriguing. Anyone from Oregon will be unsurprised to discover that Obama’s strength comes from the Portland area, which he leads by 12 over Romney, but only at a bare majority of 50/38. In the rest of the state, Romney leads by 13 points, 53/40. Obama also leads among 18-34YOs, but not by as much as one would imagine, 49/38, short of a majority. Obama only scores majorities among self-described liberals and very liberals, while carrying Oregon moderates only by a plurality of 47/37.

Obama may have a solid lead, but it’s an unimpressive one in what should be a no-worry, loyal Democratic state. By failing to get to 50%, Obama gives an impression of vulnerability in Oregon, a state that last went Republican when Ronald Reagan ran for re-election. Romney might have Obama playing defense outside of the normally-accepted set of swing states in November.

Since it’s an automated poll, many political professionals will dismiss it. But it’s still an interesting snapshot of a state where there hasn’t been a ton of public polling. The good thing about the SurveyUSA poll is that it includes the cross tabs in a readable format, so you can judge for yourself which interpretation makes more sense to you.


18 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. LakeLucilleLoon
    May 12, 2012 @ 14:57:00

    Poll in one hand and poop in the other. Polls are pretty worthless. Plus, Oregon is pretty much one half logging rednecks and one half progressive professionals. It’s a pretty difficult State to take the pulse of. Unless the Republicans steal this election like they did in 2004 ( and like they recently did in the Anchorage municipal election ) then we’re pretty much guaranteed another 4 years of hope and change. Not so sure what you are so afraid of; just take a deep breath and let it all go. Many of us in Wasilla would support your decision!


    • dz
      May 12, 2012 @ 22:33:33

      Yes Oregon is a tough call anymore. Just wanted to mention that the decimation of the logging industry here has seen many of those out-of-work logging rednecks and their families move into many little rural hamlets where they now create their mini-militias, receive their welfare checks and cripe loudly about the govt taking away their guns and freedom. The more affluent GOP members ‘groom’ them much like ants do with aphids. Let them do the dirty campaign work of stealing liberal signs and keying cars bearing liberal bumperstickers while their camera-shy handlers inflame the mostly uneducated crowd with rumors of socialists, commies and minorities plotting takeovers.

      Last summer we had Bill Maher in town for a concert and my liberal heart was gladdened when I saw the sellout crowd of polite, pleasant professional types laughing and enjoying the evening. It gave me hope for So Oregon. Education and environmental respect remain a priority with Oregon leaders so in time I predict that our state will return to a more solid mellow blue.


  2. Syrin
    May 12, 2012 @ 15:42:48

    Me? Oh I predict that Obama is going to win another term.. If Alaska is any indication, this radical behavior, incompetence, ect, is raising its ugly head everywhere. Its gonna play out as disjointed, fractured party politics. I know some of you have no time for any Republican, but some of us are descent individuals. However, I’m not ready to jump ship quite yet. Nationally.. I believe that the debates between two men, who are equally matched on issues, results and experience, also the likeability factor. It will be entertaining and informative. I look forward to it!


  3. Kate (@AKRNHSNC)
    May 12, 2012 @ 17:26:29

    Yes, Syrin, there are many decent Republicans but those who are decent, like many members of my own family, feel as if there isn’t anyone in the Republican party who represents them any longer. I’m so disgusted by the attitude that they took regarding President Obama on day one, determined not to work with him on anything that I could NEVER vote for a Republican again, although I’ve always been an Independent. Their attitude is treasonous, IMO, especially considering the state of our economy at the time President Obama took office. No matter what he did, they refused to work with him even when his ideas were comparable to ones they had presented earlier as their own. McConnell, Boehner, Cantor, and the rest of them should be run out of office along with those TPers who believe that compromise is a dirty word. With their attitude, we will never regain our footing as a country. We’ve been a two party system for a reason, to work together, to represent different ideas of our nation’s citizens and to come together to try to reach common goals. They’ve been screaming about the Constitution yet they’ve spit on it with their seditious actions.


  4. Pete
    May 12, 2012 @ 17:59:09

    My parents are life long Republicans and for the first time ever, they voted for a Democrat in 2008, thanks to Sarah Palin!! They are both 72 years old and they think Obama has done a good job so they will simply vote for him again this year. I’ll always have time for those two Republicans, they are wonderful people! It’s the conservative tea party nut jobs and hateful evangelicals that have caused the Republican Party to fracture. Unfortunately the damage is done and it’s severe. I’m not sure how the party can recover. I’m registered as an Independent so I’m not worried about it. Good luck!


  5. 99ts
    May 12, 2012 @ 18:53:54

    Polls are always false – unless you support the person who is leading. As for any thought that the President and Mitt Romney are “equally matched” the first debate will throw that issue away. I cannot think of one legitimate topic that Gov Romney will be able to rationally discuss with President Obama.


  6. Karen J (@KaJo503)
    May 12, 2012 @ 18:54:18

    There’s only two places in Oregon where I’m aware the rednecks and the right wingnuts congregate — between Hermiston/Pendleton and Burns in the northeast part of the state, and between Medford and Grant’s Pass in the south I-5 corrider.

    They AREN’T in Eugene or Salem, nor in Greater Portland — and in not a lot of coastal cities.

    Sarah Palin herself said polls are for crosscountry skiers and strippers, and for once she was right (despite the right’s devotion to quoting polls that favor them).


    • lonely on the coast
      May 14, 2012 @ 05:41:19

      I live here and believe me, the southern coast is full of rednecks many of whom still proudly put their racism and bigotry on display. Add to that the Koch minded funders who funnel money and encouragement in and then stand back to watch, and it can be a dangerous place for a critical thinker to live. Daily, we’re watching the absurd theatre enacted of “I’ve made up my mind, don’t give me any facts.” Oregon may be a wild card, but here, we have a significant portion of the populace who love Sarah Palin and believe that President Obama is the anti-christ. It’s a beautiful place, but I’m tired of holding my tongue for the sake of my business. I’m just marking time til I can go live where there is a little more sanity not to mention diversity.


    • Tyroanee
      May 14, 2012 @ 12:10:04

      Hey Karen,
      Hate to be the one to tell you this, but yes they’re here, right here in Lane County.
      Much to my dismay I even have a ‘commune of common idiots’ living 25 acres away from me.
      It disgusts me to know that ignorance travels so freely in our business society, undetected by mainstream, but freely open to the other white sheet pranksters of fools.
      I refuse to be intimidated by their lack of knowledge, or for that matter common sense of decency towards all our fellow man, no I will not bow down to their level, I will simply rise above the oil slick and out shine them all.
      O B A M A 2012


  7. Val
    May 13, 2012 @ 19:32:35

    I don’t know why anyone would be registered with a political party… unless they wanted someone to tell them how to vote.


    • nswfm
      May 13, 2012 @ 22:42:22

      To vote in the primary. I was an independent untill the 2000 election. I knew Bush would be bad, unfortunately, the guy proved me correct.


  8. R8RBOB
    May 14, 2012 @ 12:29:38

    It is impossible for Mitt Romney to win this election. Obama leads him in every demographic except White men. The polls may say one thing but unless Romney flips the Latino vote and make women really, really hate Obama he is going to be John McCain, Jr


  9. martha
    May 15, 2012 @ 05:12:43

    Unless you are part of the 1% there is no logical reason to be a republican.

    It’s a shame…no it’s criminal…that the radical right extremists and theocrats have abolished any thinking conservative from the republican party.

    Ronald Regan would not survive what has become or this party, as much as they love to tout his accomplishments, at the same time they deny much of his legacy and policies….not limited to but including Regan’s explosion of the national debt…which he said was his biggest regret…to the multiple times he raised taxes in an attempt to pay off said debt.

    To say that the lunatics have taken over the asylum is about an accurate observation that there is concerning what has become or the GOP.

    There is no other way to explain a group of politicians willing to to destroy their country in order to oust a POTUS that they refuse to accept….to refuse to co-operate with any and all legislation from “the other side” .. to filibuster all legislation in the senate to the brink of the collapse of the US over failing to pay the national debt for the first time in history…refusing to approve any and all appointments resulting in judicial crisis.

    And to learn that this was a plan, contrived and lead by Newt Gingrich with Frank Luntz, in concert with Eric Cantor Jeb Hensarling, Pete Hoekstra, Dan Lungren, Kevin McCarthy, Paul Ryan and Pete Sessions. From the Senate were Tom Coburn, Bob Corker, Jim DeMint, John Ensign and Jon Kyl…. the night of the inauguration makes it even more despicable.

    In fact what they did and do is treason.

    Gingrich proclaimed, “You will remember this day. You’ll remember this as the day the seeds of 2012 were sown.”

    When you look at the electoral map…it is almost identical to Lincoln’s America and the reasons are the same….the abject fear of the loss of white control has caused this insanity.

    It was more than striking to observe the troops when Obama was in Afghanistan..that sea of faces of those men and women of every ethnicity, color, creed and stripe..THAT is America…not the overwhelming white, male house of representatives and senate and complete lack of diversity in the GOP.


  10. martha_davidson (@martha_davidson)
    May 21, 2012 @ 14:21:44

    Will Christians “sell their souls” to vote for Willard?

    Willard Mitt Romney, who thinks that God reside on plant Kolab with his spiritual wives? Believes that God started as a human then evolved into God and that we all can do that. Believes that Adam and Eve were brought here by extraterrestrials from the planet Kolab.

    Christian, conservative Evangelicals across campus — and, indeed, across the country — are struggling to reconcile their theology with their politics. Can they really support a~~ heretic~~ for president?

    On page 173 of the course catalog for Liberty University, the country’s largest Evangelical Christian college, there’s a graduate course labeled Theology 678—Western and New Religions.
    Its innocuous title belies the description of its curriculum:
    “The history, doctrines, and present state of the major cults such as Mormonism, Christian Science, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Seventh Day Adventism. The course will also include a study of the Occult Movement. Emphasis is placed on the errors of these groups and on methods and materials for confronting them effectively.”


    • Syrin
      May 21, 2012 @ 15:23:19

      Thank you for the comment. Very good information..
      So Mitt Romney is a heretic? Who’s to say? Church leaders, Christian doctrine? That is the last place Democrates go to affirm or deny, the opposite when speaking about abortion, gay rights. I’ve been told that worship of anything even a doorknob was applicable under the law. I thought the freedom of religion was important to democracy. Romney is more a man than a Mormon.. Mormonism is a false religious Ideology, by definition it’s a cult.. I try to make resources available on these subjects and more at the Alaska State Fair –24 years


  11. Syrin
    May 21, 2012 @ 15:00:13

    There will never be anyone ( not even my husband ) who will think and believe the same way that do. If Romney is the candidate, par Republican convention, I will cast my vote for him. I have a right ( still) to be a Republican and to vote for one.. No matter what others might say. I mean, he does have some progressive tendencies that you Libs would find comforting. Listen.. These last 4 years I’ve not gone out of my way to disrespect the president with crazy stories of false birth certificates, radical political involvements and reports of infidelity. The man seems to be stable in his personal life, somewhat open to resource development and he did get Osama Bin Ladan! I give him all the kudos one can give! However, I owe President Obama nothing in terms of my vote! He did it without me the first time, he’ll do it again.. Don’t you remember your mother telling you.. “Dear, it takes all kinds to make the world go around”?


  12. martha_davidson (@martha_davidson)
    May 21, 2012 @ 16:39:38

    Oh wow…lol… take this far too personally.

    I do not know what faith you have, what church you attend, other than you having mentioned that you are a “Christian”, which can mean a variety of beliefs.

    Now you have made it clear than you have your own unique belief system:

    “There will never be anyone ( not even my husband ) who will think and believe the same way that do.”

    Good for you…really.

    I was pointing out the hypocrisy, as was this article, on those that condem Mormonism as a cult, yet would “sell their souls” to vote for Romney.

    This is not a “crazy story”, it is not disrespectful to Romney….it IS what Mormons believe.

    If a person truly believes in something they OUGHT to be able to stand up for it, proud to stand up for it.

    Romney never speaks of it.

    If on the other hand a person believes that this is heresy…you may as well vote for a Satan worshipper, as these folks are considered “cults” in EXACTLY the same way as Mormonism.

    It is the Christian right who have refereed to Romney as a ~~ heretic ~~they TEACH that at the university that he spoke at.

    In fact the majority of “Christian” religions believe that Mormonism is a cult, so IF you believe that, than how do you justify voting for a cult leader…after all he was a Deacon, a church elder, a leader.

    Which by the way constantly evolves through convenient “visions” as lawsuits are directed at them or their way of life is impeded.

    As in Utah not being allowed to join the union of the United States as long as they adhered to polygamy, or the belief that all “black” people are the descendants of Cain (which was why they were black) and to be shunned..the first vision on that had them qualify that the “black” people had “paid their penance”…so they continued to believe they are descendants of Cain…that was as recent as the 1970’s

    It is very reminiscent of Romney’s REPEATED stance FOR Roe V Wade, and saying that he would be a stronger advocate than Ted Kennedy for gay rights etc. ( there are HOURS of video of him saying these things) when he wanted to be senator in a progressive state and now that the right has taken such a radical, religious hard right turn, and he want’s to be a GOP POTUS those views are totally, completely reversed with no explanation.

    I’m all for folks being free to believe what ever they choose to…it’s the hypocrisy and the effort to impose beliefs on others that is abhorrent.

    Romney has said he would “abolish” Planned Parenthood, because 3% of their practise includes abortion…THAT is an imposition of his apparent current belief, he has said so.

    The GOP run state houses are turning democracy’s into theocracies creating legislation based on their religious beliefs…what would a POTUS Romney do?

    You will never know if he would stay the course or switch back to supporting Roe V Wade and gay rights.

    The evidence is there…Romney is a coin toss at best, or, if you believe such things, a heretic.


  13. martha_davidson (@martha_davidson)
    May 22, 2012 @ 14:30:26

    RELIGION OR CULT?… decide



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