Poll: Republican Christine Drazan Narrowly Leads Opponents in Deep Blue Oregon

Republican nominee Christine Drazan speaks during the gubernatorial debate hosted by the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association at Mount Hood Oregon Resort in Welches, Ore., Friday, July 29, 2022. (Jaime Valdez/Pamplin Media Group via AP, Pool)
Jaime Valdez/Pamplin Media Group via AP, Pool

Republican Christine Drazan is closely leading her two left-leaning opponents in the Oregon gubernatorial race, soon before mail-in ballots go out and less than 35 days before the competitive election.

A new Emerson College Polling survey shows former Oregon House Republican leader Drazan ahead of former state House Speaker Tina Kotek (D)–36 percent to 34 percent. Nineteen percent of those polled plan to vote for former Democrat state senator-turned independent Betsy Johnson. The poll was conducted between Sept. 30 – Oct. 1 with 796 very likely Oregon voters. The survey’s Credibility Interval (CI), similar to a margin of error, is ±3.4 percentage points.

“A plurality of Independent voters, 34 percent support Drazan, 29 percent support Johnson, and 18 percent support Kotek. Among Republicans, 80 percent support Drazan, and 9 percent support Johnson, while 71 percent of Oregon Democrats plan to vote for Kotek, 17 percent express support for Johnson,” Emerson College Polling Executive Director Spencer Kimball said.

Likely Oregon voters also have a more favorable opinion of Drazan than Kotek and Johnson. Forty-two percent of poll respondents report viewing Drazan favorably, and 41 percent view her unfavorably. In contrast, 38 percent have a favorable view of Kotek and 50 percent have an unfavorable view. Thirty-six percent have a favorable view of Johnson and 49 percent have an unfavorable view.

Likely voters ranked the economy as the “most important issue in determining the vote (30 percent), following by “threats to democracy” (21 percent), crime (12 percent), and “abortion access (12 percent).

“Among those who say the economy is their top issue, 52 percent plan to vote for Drazan and 21 percent for Johnson. A majority of those who say ‘threats to democracy’ is their top issue when voting break for Kotek with 59 percent support,” Kimball said.

More than half of voters — 52 percent – say the overturning of Roe v. Wade has no effect on how they will vote in November. Forty-five percent say they are either much more likely or somewhat more likely to vote because of the decision.

The Emerson survey is the fourth consecutive poll projecting Drazan narrowly leading her two opponents. A poll from Nelson Research shows Drazan leading Kotek 33.4 percent to 31.5 percent. Roughly 19 percent of 620 likely voters support Betsy Johnson, a former Democrat state senator who is running as an independent.

Another independent survey of 600 likely voters commissioned by The Oregonian shows Drazan leading Kotek 32 percent to 31 percent. A separate poll by Clout Research reveals Drazan leading Kotek 38 percent to 35 percent.


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