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Gov. John Kitzhaber (D. OR)
Some very good news today out of Oregon.  First the U.S. Senate race:

PPP's first look at the Oregon Senate race finds Jeff Merkley starting the general election with a 14 point lead over Republican challenger Monica Wehby, 50/36.

For a Republican to win in Oregon they would need to take independents- likely by a substantial margin- and get a strong level of crossover support from Democrats. But right now Wehby isn't succeeding on either of those fronts. Merkley leads with independents by the same 14 point margin he has overall, 45/31. And both he and Wehby are winning 11% of voters across party lines, which given the state's Democratic advantage plays to Merkley's benefit.

The bad news stories Wehby's had to deal with over the last few weeks have caused her to make an overall poor first impression on Oregonians. Only 26% of voters have a favorable opinion of her to 40% with a negative one. Merkley's approval numbers aren't setting the world on fire- 41% approve and 34% disapprove, but they're good enough given Wehby's early struggles. It is likely though that the race will tighten at least some- among undecided voters only 21% approve of the job Barack Obama is doing to 63% who disapprove. - PPP, 5/29/14

And now the Governor's race:
John Kitzhaber starts out with a similar lead to Merkley in his reelection quest for Governor. He's at 49% to 35% for Republican challenger Dennis Richardson. Kitzhaber's lead comes despite the fact that he is not very popular- only 42% of voters approve of the job he's doing to 46% who disapprove. One big reason Kitzhaber outperforms his approval numbers is that even though only 64% of Democrats say they approve of the job he's doing, 76% still say they would vote for him over his Republican foe.

The other reason for Kitzhaber's advantage is that his opponent remains largely unknown- only 38% of voters know enough about Richardson to have formed an opinion of him. When you look at the undecideds in the Governor's race just 12% approve of the job Kitzhaber is doing to 57% who disapprove, and most of those folks will probably eventually end up with Richardson. Kitzhaber remains a clear favorite but holding onto a double digit advantage could be a challenge. - PPP, 5/29/14

The poll also shows 54% support marriage equality and continues to grow.  All great news but we cannot take anything for granted.  If you want to donate and get involved with Kitzhaber and Merkley's campaigns, you can do so here:

Originally posted to pdc on Thu May 29, 2014 at 09:29 AM PDT.

Also republished by Koscadia, PDX Metro, The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, and Daily Kos Oregon.

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