Scott Walker

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.

Assessing Wisconsin's Recall Vote

Assessing the impact of Wisconsin's foiled recall effort this week of GOP Governor Scott Walker can be tricky for a state such as Oregon. First off, we haven't had a Republican governor here since Vic Atiyeh a quarter century ago. But we have had, at both the state and local level, encouraging examples of collaboration between political parties and between political leaders and organized labor.

After reaching a 30-30 tie in the 2010 election, Republicans and Democrats in the Oregon House agreed to share power. Co-Speakers Bruce Hanna, R-Roseburg, and Arnie Roblan, D-Coos Bay, avoided most partisan flare-ups during the 2011 and 2012 sessions and instead made a round of statewide joint appearances to discuss key policy decisions. (Two former House speakers from different parties in Pennsylvania are serving time in the same state prison and may become bunkmates.)

Multnomah County Chair Jeff Cogen found a way to work with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which agreed for the second time in three years to forego cost-of-living increases in return for leaving employee health benefits unchanged

Governor Kitzhaber counseled Oregon labor leaders to put aside potentially divisive ballot measures dealing with corporate taxation and higher taxes on the wealthy and focus instead on a measure to direct corporate kicker refunds to education. Kitzhaber said he would pursue another attempt to revamp Oregon's tax system, which is heavily reliant on personal income tax revenues, including capital gains.

These are stark contrasts to the bitterness that has gripped Wisconsin since Walker's election and his survival of a politically motivated recall drive.

Many pundits have drawn their own conclusions from the Wisconsin election. Republicans say it is a harbinger of GOP success in the November general election. Unions and Democrats blame their loss on being hugely outspent. Exit polls showed as many as 60 percent of voters in what was a relatively small turnout said they disagreed with using the power of recall for political reasons.