New Poll Looks at Oregon’s 2016 Race for Governor

April 23, 2015

In head-to-head ballot tests against potential GOP candidates, Oregon’s new Governor Kate Brown falls below the 50% threshold in all four match-ups. “Kate Brown’s reelection in 2016 is no slam-dunk” says pollster Bob Moore, President of Moore Information. The best Republican showing against Brown comes from 2014 GOP nominee Dennis Richardson, who trails Brown by just seven points – 48-41%, with 12% voting for neither or undecided. Brown’s margin is wider against three lesser known Republicans. Against Allen Alley, Brown leads 47-32%, with 21% voting for neither or undecided. In a Brown vs. Shane Bemis ballot, it’s 45-26%, 28% neither/undecided and in a Brown vs. Bud Pierce test, it’s 45-27%, 28% neither/undecided. Alley is a former state GOP Chair, Bemis is Mayor of Gresham and Pierce is a Salem physician who has indicated interest in the 2016 race.

Brown’s margin over Richardson essentially reflects the Democrat registration edge over Republicans in the state. Richardson is benefitting from higher levels of loyalty among his own party – he has a +59 point-margin among Republicans, compared to +47 for Alley, +38 for Pierce and +35 for Bemis. Richardson’s higher level of support among GOP voters is further indication that he is more well-known than the three other Republicans tested. Democrats are equally faithful to Brown on all four match-ups, with an average margin of +71 among Democrats. The fact that Brown’s margin among Democrats is wider than any of the Republican candidates’ margins among GOP voters is probably due to the fact that she is more well-known than any of the Republicans tested. Among the non-affiliated/Independent voters, Richardson is in a dead heat with Brown, but Brown gets the nod among this group in the three other pairings. Regionally, Richardson and Brown are in a statistical dead heat among voters outside the Portland Metro area, but Richardson trails by 6% in Washington/Clackamas Counties and by 31% in Multnomah County. Alley’s best performance is in Washington/Clackamas Counties where he is in a statistical tie with Brown, but he trails by 38% in Multnomah County and faces double digit deficits outside the Portland Metro area.

Methodology: Interviews were conducted April 20, 2015 by Moore Information, Inc. among 500 registered voters in Oregon using IVR telephone survey methodology. The potential sampling error is plus or minus 4% at the 95% confidence level.

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