Jeb Bush

Trump, Clinton and 'Don't Know' Top Oregon Poll

While Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton topped an Oregon poll, a significant number of voters are still undecided.

While Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton topped an Oregon poll, a significant number of voters are still undecided.

Oregonians may not be so different after all. A new political poll conducted for Oregon Public Broadcasting shows Donald Trump has the largest percentage of Republican support and Hillary Clinton holding onto her frontrunner status with Bernie Sanders in hot pursuit.

The poll, conducted by DHM by surveying 536 Oregonians in late July, showed Trump capturing 18 percent of Republican support. The survey occurred before the first GOP presidential debate, so the results may be different now. But it still provides a window into GOP preferences and awareness of candidates. Lindsay Graham and George Pataki, for example, registered a goose egg on the survey.

Scott Walker was the nearest competitor to Trump at 12 percent. Walker was tied with "don't know." Jeb Bush, the presumed frontrunner among establishment Republicans, received 11 percent and Ted Cruz 10 percent.

Candidates that some observers believe will survive the culling of the current 17-candidate GOP field and become major factors – Marco Rubio and Chris Christie – didn't poll at that well. Rubio had 3 percent and Christie just 2 percent.

On the Democratic side of the race, Clinton checked in with 44 percent support, but Sanders attracted 39 percent. And that was before his overflow political rally last weekend in Portland.

Clinton polled strong among Democratic women and older voters. Sanders appealed to younger voters.

Even though Trump sat on top of the poll, only 12 percent of GOP respondents believe he has a chance to win their party's nomination. Almost 40 percent predicted Bush would become the 2016 Republican standard-bearer.

Early polling can prove inconsequential and dead wrong as the actual primary season nears, starting with presidential caucuses in Iowa next January. More debates and candidate dropouts also will influence the outcome.

Asking the Right Questions

If state government is going to operate more effectively and efficiently – at least, in theory, a requirement in a time of tight financial resources – then there are least three questions policymakers should ask as they review old and new programs.

         1.  Is there an appropriate role for state government to play?

This is a question seldom asked, at least on the record. Many policymakers simply assume if there is a problem, there should be a state response to it. The evidence is found in the 3,500 to 5,000 bills introduced every regular legislative session.

If the question was asked routinely, the answer would not automatically be yes or no, but would depend on the situation. Often, the simple act of asking the question and considering the answer would be a step in the right direction of aligning state government programs to available resources. Policymakers should reserve the right to say there is no appropriate role for state government in, for example, a battle between two business groups.

A yes would be a stronger yes that we need to organize health care for indigent Oregonians or offer financial and parenting support for single mothers and their children.