Oregon General Election Voters Give Edge to Trump over Hillary; Support for Billion-Dollar Tax Hike Weak
(Polling memo with methodology linked below)
MAY 18, 2016 – Our most recent survey of Oregon voters statewide showed that, in a prospective General Election match-up between presumptive Republican Party nominee Donald Trump and likely Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton, Trump leads by a small margin, 44% to 42%, with 13% yet undecided.
The Trump lead is statistically insignificant, but shows the Oregon electorate is deeply split about the direction in which the country should move. Both candidates have solidified much of their own political bases, winning about four of every five partisans, but Trump has a massive lead among Oregon independent voters, winning 53% support compared to just 26% support among independents for Clinton. Another 21% of independents said they are yet undecided.
The Trump lead among independent voters is likely a result of a combination of his early attacks on Clinton, the strong primary election opposition of Bernie Sanders, who easily won the Democratic Presidential Primary election Tuesday, and her generally lackluster campaign effort in Oregon.
A contributing factor to her poor performance in the Clout poll is her under-performance among women, where she leads Trump by only 9%, far below her national performance among women. Among men, Trump leads Clinton by 13%.
Billion Dollar Tax Measure in Trouble
The same survey shows statewide support for a multi-billion dollar tax increase is tepid, falling several points below the key threshold of 50% support. The ballot measure, known as IP28, wins 44% support against 32% opposition, with about a quarter of the electorate unsure on the measure. Oregon’s general elections are heavily influenced by independent, or non-aligned voters, and they are leaning strongly against the tax hike. While 32% of independents support the tax measure, 45% oppose it.
This sentiment bodes ill for the success of the measure, especially considering that more Oregon voters than not feel the state is headed in the wrong direction. While 41% of those voters surveyed said they believe the state is headed in the right direction, 49% said it is off on the wrong track. It is our experience that when voters do not trust their state government to perform properly – a serious question hanging over the heads of Oregon government leaders in the wake of the corruption-related resignation of Gov. John Kitzhaber just over a year ago – they are less inclined to grant it major new sources of tax money no matter the intention of the tax revenue. The full campaign has yet to unfold, but given this measure is supported mainly by Democratic voters, and the top of the Democratic ticket this fall will be far less inspiring than Barack Obama of the last two presidential election cycles, this measure appears in serious trouble.
The telephone survey included a sample of 423 landline respondents and 234 respondents in cell phone-only households.