Measure 79, which put a ban on real estate transfer fees in to the Oregon Constitution, was pronounced dead before the November 6 election, yet somehow managed to pass with a 59 percent majority.
The Salem Statesman Journal ran a story a week or so before the election citing an opposition poll conducted by a reputable Washington, DC firm. The poll showed the measure losing 54 percent to 31 percent.
The poll relied on a sample of 600 respondents, which is appropriate for a statewide survey in Oregon. And the results were based on reactions to the actual ballot title, which is what voters read on the ballot.
Defend Oregon, which opposed Measure 79, predicted the $6 million spent by supporters, primarily the National Association of Realtors and the Oregon Association of Realtors, would be for naught.
"It seems clear that Oregonians have seen through this dishonest campaign," Scott Moore, a spokesman for the opposition, told Peter Wong of the Statesman Journal. "Oregonians are pretty skeptical about attempts to amend the constitution, especially when they are paid for by big, out-of-state interests."
Moore's point about big, out-of-state money certainly was underscored by the thumping of Measures 82 and 83, which would have amended the state Constitution to allow privately owned casinos. However, Measure 79 passed, earning more votes in the process than President Obama.