The latest on the presidential horse race.

Oregon Senate Update: Merkley (D) 48%, Wehby (R) 35%

Rasmussen Reports, 9/2 – 9/3

Oregon Senate

  • Jeff Merkley – Democrat – 48%
  • Monica Wehby – Republican – 35%

A new Rasmussen Reports poll has revealed that Democrat Jeff Merkley holds a respectable lead over his Republican opponent Monica Wehby. The poll asked 750 likely voters who they would vote for if an election were to occur today. The poll had a margin of error of 4%. The results heavily favored Merkley, who achieved 48% of the vote. His opponent, Wehby, only secured 35% of the vote.

Wehby’s approval ratings have suffered. Only 11% of voters saw her as very favorable, 24% saw her as somewhat favorable, 18% as somewhat unfavorable, and 24% as very unfavorable. On the other hand, 24% of voters saw Merkley as very favorable, 25% as somewhat favorable, 19% as somewhat unfavorable, and 20% as very unfavorable. Merkley’s approval ratings were a respectable 49% while Wehbys were only 35%. Their disapproval ratings were similar. Why did Merkley have the edge? He has name recognition. 15% of voters have never heard of Wehby while 4% of voters say the same about Merkley.

Thus, Merkley has a very strong advantage on his opponent. Voters know his name and have a favorable opinion of him. His opponent is less known, but has a comparable disapproval rating. It will be hard for Wehby to fix this situation, especially if she is unable to make a name for herself due to her negative reputation.

On party lines, 78% of state Democrats support Merkley while 71% of Republicans back Wehby. To date, she has focused a large portion of her campaign attacking Merkley for his support of Obamacare. The state’s view on the topic is split and many voters see immigration as a more important issue to tackle. Wehby will have to bend to the will of the voters and their needs, if she wants to siphon votes from Merkley’s faction.

Photo credit: The Oregonian