Is Oregon the sleeper race in 2014?9:27 AM, Apr 4, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Democratic senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon is polling ahead of his potential Republican opponents, but his position is weak heading into his reelection campaign, according to a new survey by a GOP polling firm. Harper Polling found Merkley is ahead of two possible Republican opponents but is still polling less than 50 percent against them. Forty-seven percent say they would vote for Merkley over GOP state representative Jason Conger, who polled 40 percent, while 12 percent say they are not sure. Meanwhile, Republican Monica Wehby, a Portland-area pediatric neurosurgeon, trails Merkley by 12 points, 46 percent to 34 percent, with 20 percent saying they are unsure. The poll was taken among likely voters in Oregon.
On the generic ballot, a Democratic candidate has just a 3-point lead (45 percent to 42 percent) over a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate. The poll also found that Merkley, a first-term senator, has just a 39 percent favorability rating, with 32 percent having an unfavorable opinion of him and 30 percent not sure. Meanwhile, 41 percent approve of his job in the Senate, while 33 percent disapprove and 26 percent say they aren't sure. Merkley has been a senator since 2009.
In Oregon, Obamacare is not faring well. The law's rollout has been particularly troubled in the Beaver State, as its state-run health insurance exchange, Cover Oregon, has struggled to stay up online and enroll customers in its early months. Two of Cover Oregon's directors have resigned since October of last year. The Harper Poll found just 41 percent approve of the law, about on track with national polls on the health care law, while 51 percent say they disapprove of it. Merkley voted for Obamacare in 2010.
Is Merkley likely to be thrown out of office in 2014? That can't be known from one, Republican-friendly poll. And as it stands, Republicans in Washington say they consider the Oregon race to be on its periphery of possible pick-ups. Both Republican candidates, Jason Conger and Monica Wehby, are vying for their party's nomination in a May 20 primary. Which candidate, if any, could beat Merkley?
Wehby comes from Portland, the liberal urban area and population center of the state. Any Republican hoping to win statewide would have to perform well, and probably win, in Portland's suburban ring counties, as two-term Republican senator Gordon Smith did in 1996 and 2002. As a woman, Wehby would be able to withstand or negate attacks on the GOP's "war on women," and her status as a pediatric neurosurgeon give her heft in a debate over the efficacy of Obamacare. But Wehby is also softly pro-choice and seen, perhaps fairly, as not conservative enough for the Oregon party. Furthermore, the Harper poll shows her in a weaker position against Merkley (though her unknown rating is higher than her primary opponent's).
Conger, the state representative from rural Central Oregon, is much more in line with the state party on issues like abortion, and this poll shows him within striking distance of Merkley. He's also no rube; after living on his own for part of his youth, including time on the streets, Conger eventually graduated from Harvard Law School. He was first elected to the state house in 2010 and reelected in 2012, rising through the ranks of leadership. But as a recent debate between the GOP candidates shows, Conger may be vulnerable on some his votes for spending bills.
Apr 14, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 29 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON and WILLIAM KRISTOL
The crowing by the Obama administration over getting 7 million people to sign up for mandatory health insurance—with some portion actually paying for it—will soon fade. The big picture will remain clear: Obamacare isn’t working. And Americans, who didn’t like Obamacare when the Democrats passed it four years ago, don’t like it now, don’t want it to remain, and doubt it can be fixed. But they also don’t much want to go back to the pre-Obamacare world.
Hosted by Michael Graham.4:45 PM, Feb 20, 2014 • By TWS PODCAST
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast, with Sean Trende, a Senior Elections Analyst at RealClearPolitics on what the 2014 landscape looks like for Republican senate hopefuls.
Obama’s collapsing numbers.Dec 16, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 14 • By FRED BARNES
President Obama is 5-for-5, but not in the way he’d prefer. In baseball, 5-for-5 signifies perfection. In Obama’s case, it means the opposite. On the five most important polling questions that measure a president’s success, he’s not only dropped significantly, but he’s now regarded negatively overall.
The five yardsticks are presidential job approval, honesty, handling of
the economy, strong leadership, and the public’s impression of him personally. Being underwater on all five is extraordinary, if not unprecedented.
Hosted by Michael Graham.4:35 PM, Nov 20, 2013 • By TWS PODCAST
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with staff writer Jay Cost on Obamacare's fate in the polls, and whether the Senate is in play for Republicans in 2014.
4:05 PM, Aug 1, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
A new poll finds 77 percent of Americans support either delaying or repealing Obamacare's individual mandate. The extensive survey of 2,076 registered voters found that 28 percent say the individual mandate that Americans purchase health insurance coverage should be delayed, while 49 percent say the mandate should be repealed entirely. Among those who favor delay or repeal of the mandate are 91 percent of Republicans, 77 percent of independents, and 65 percent of Democrats.
6:00 AM, Sep 21, 2012 • By JAY COST
Conservatives are growing worried, and Democrats gleeful, about Obama’s lead in the polls, basically for the same reason: it is late in the season (or so it seems), and the incumbent president has a lead. That is a good thing for Obama.
Perhaps, but three fundamental points need to be kept in mind.
6:00 AM, Sep 10, 2012 • By JAY COST
As we wait to see the extent and duration of Barack Obama’s post-convention bounce, it makes sense to do a little analytical house cleaning. In particular, a meme developed over the summer that Barack Obama was a strong favorite to win reelection, thanks to a sustained and substantial lead over his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, particularly in the swing states.
6:00 AM, Aug 24, 2012 • By JAY COST
In every presidential cycle, there is a debate about partisan identification in polling. Conservatives complain about too few Republicans being sampled; pollsters, journalists, and liberals respond by saying it is inappropriate to weigh polls by party identification.
What to make of all this?
10:22 AM, Jul 21, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Campaign disclosure forms for Obama for America, President Obama's reelection team, reveal a heavy emphasis on public opinion polling. According to the forms, in the month of June alone, Obama for America spent a whopping $2,639,265.72 on polling.
6:00 AM, Jun 29, 2011 • By JAY COST
The Des Moines Register poll of Republicans caused quite a stir this week. The congresswoman from Minnesota could not have asked for a better piece of news to correspond with her official announcement: It showed Michele Bachmann down just one point to Mitt Romney in Iowa. Meanwhile, Tim Pawlenty had to suffer through idle questions about whether or not he was a “first tier” candidate.
4:28 PM, Apr 15, 2011 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
About a week and a half into the battle over the 2012 budget, Gallup shows that only 41 percent of Americans approve of Barack Obama’s performance as president, while 50 percent disapprove of him. Gallup writes that its “polling includes interviews conducted before and after Obama announced his plan for deficit reduction on Wednesday.” So, from the president’s standpoint, the early returns in the fight he has picked with Paul Ryan aren’t good.
12:35 PM, Mar 18, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Jay Cost wrote this morning that some of the most important polls to watch this early (and it's still very early) in the 2012 campaign are those which ask the question, "Does Barack Obama deserve Reelection?" In that strain, National Journal has a new poll out today of registered voters that, if accurate, doesn't bode well for Obama:
4:13 PM, Feb 7, 2011 • By JAY COST
The first poll I look to for presidential job approval is the Gallup poll. I don't know whether Gallup offers the best gauge of presidential support. Indeed, nobody can really know: the poll surveys support/opposition among all adults, and there is no independent arbiter to decide which pollster gets it right (contrast this with the exit polls, which can check how pre-election "likely voter" polls performed).