Poll: Republican Christine Drazan Narrowly Leads Oregon Governor Race

Republican nominee Christine Drazan speaks during the gubernatorial debate hosted by the O
Jaime Valdez/Pamplin Media Group via AP, Pool

Republican Christine Drazan holds a narrow lead in Oregon’s gubernatorial race, as a strong majority of likely voters express pessimism about the direction of the deep blue state.

In a three-way race for the governorship, 32.8 percent of likely general election voters would cast a ballot for Drazan, 32.1 percent would pick Democrat Tina Kotek, and 20.6 percent would choose Democrat-turned-independent Betsy Johnson, according to a new Clout Research poll. Nearly 15 percent of likely voters are undecided.

“Poll after poll shows Oregonians are ready for change. Voters know that Christine Drazan is the only candidate in this race capable of leading our state in a new direction starting on Day One,” Drazan’s Communications Director John Burke told Breitbart News on Tuesday. “Christine has the lead, she has the momentum, and she is going to make history in Oregon this November.”

The results are within the survey’s ±4.92 percent margin of error, though the close range between Drazan and Kotek could be significant given that the current Democrat Gov. Kate Brown (D) — who is wildly unpopular — beat her GOP competitor by roughly 6 points in the 2018 election.  Clout Research conducted the poll with 397 respondents on August 10-14 at a 95 percent confidence interval.

More than half (55.2 percent) say they are “very firm” on their choice for governor, 33.2 percent say they are “somewhat firm” and 11.6 percent say “not at all firm.” More respondents identified as Democrat voters than Republican voters, 42.6 percent to 30.5 percent, and 26.9 percent identified as independents.

Many voters say they are willing to vote for someone who is not from their own political party; 17.6 percent say they are “very likely to do so,” and 20.1 percent say they are “somewhat likely.” Sixty-two percent say they are more likely to stick with their own party.

Clout Research pollster Fritz Wenzel said the survey results show a toss-up governor’s race, though “Johnson’s presence in the race is draining voters from both Kotek and Drazan…”

“…It indicates Johnson’s candidacy is costing Drazan much more than Kotek. Among likely voters who were not aligned with either the Democrat or Republican parties, 28 percent said they would vote for Drazan, while just 18 percent said they would support Kotek. The independent Johnson also wins 28 percent among these non-aligned voters, while 26 percent of those voters are yet undecided,” Wenzel said.

When asked: “What is the top issue that will determine who you vote for Governor?” 27.7 percent say the “leftist agenda,” 5.1 percent say the economy, 2.3 percent say inflation, 6.6 percent say “the candidates themselves.” Nearly 8 percent say crime, 13.3 percent say the “conservative agenda,” and 2 percent say “homeless issues.” Nearly 22 percent declined to answer. 

Drazan is heavily campaigning on fixing skyrocketing crime rates, homelessness, and rampant drug use, which she credits to the decriminalization of hard drugs in the state. Recently, Drazan attributed Oregon’s “decade of decline” to “progressive, extreme, single-party leadership,” especially in Portland.

Oregonians agree that the state is headed in the wrong direction, according to the survey. Nearly 62 percent of respondents say the state is on the “wrong track,” and 65.1 percent say the nation as a whole is headed in the wrong direction. Eighty percent of those polled reported being more pessimistic about the future of the state and the nation than when they were younger, and only 7.8 percent reported being more optimistic. 

Oregonians are also less than thrilled with President Joe Biden’s leadership, only 35.9 percent rating him excellent or good and 63.3 percent rating him fair or poor. Nearly half (49.7 percent) say their financial situation is worse than two years ago, and of those, 59 percent blame Biden’s policies. 


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