In the final week of the campaign, a new Oregon poll finds Obama with only a six-point lead over Romney. Obama won Oregon by 17 points four years ago. This finding is consistent in nearly every state from California to Minnesota where Obama is dramatically under performing compared to his 2008 support levels.
According an Oregonian poll, Obama leads Romney, 47 percent to 41 percent, with 8 percent undecided.
Republicans two months ago felt Oregon may not be a shoo-in for Obama because Gary Johnson, the libertarian candidate who supports legalizing marijuana, would siphon votes away from Obama. Obama’s liberal base of supporters are expected to turn out to vote for Oregon’s ballot initiative to legalize marijuana. Aware of this, the Obama campaign ran commercials in the Portland, Oregon market even when Obama’s lead was greater than it is now in the state.
But much of Romney’s support has come from enthusiastic supporters of his candidacy after Romney’s first debate performance, which was the most lopsided debate victory ever recorded.
“We are seeing incredible enthusiasm at the grass-roots level,” said Greg Leo, executive director of the Oregon Republican Party told the paper. “He said the demand for lawn signs surged around the state following Romney’s strong showing in the first debate.”
In addition, the poll also found that the initiative to legalize marijuana, Measure 80, is failing, with 49 percent opposed and 42 percent in favor:
Democrats and voters 35 and under support legalization while Republicans and voters over 65 are strongly opposed. Men are almost equally divided while women are opposed, with 52 percent against and 37 percent in support.
Romney, who has taken the lead over Obama in national polls because he has dramatically closed the gender gap with Obama, may also benefit from women who go to the polls in Oregon intent on voting against the initiative to legalize marijuana.
The poll surveyed 405 likely voters October 25-28, and the margin of was +/- five percentage points.