Readers pick Saxton for governor

Readers pick Saxton for governor

Betting on a horse race is always dicey, especially when it’s money down on a political derby. This month’s Input survey polled readers in late August and early September about who and what they would vote for, or against. Research partner Tom Eiland, with Conkling Fiskum & McCormick, says that between the preference for Republican Ron Saxton in the governor’s race and the pessimism voiced in the “right direction or wrong track” question, readers seem ready for a change.

Two years ago, that same itch had our readers saying they’d elect John Kerry for president over incumbent George W. Bush.

The business mood has definitely soured, with only 34% saying things are going in the right direction, while 40% say the state is on the wrong track. A year ago, 45% thought things were going well. Eiland says that stagnant homes sales, potential layoffs and the Iraq war all play into that.

In the five-way governor’s race, Saxton (45%) leads Ted Kulongoski (36%) by nine points. Third-party candidates get support among 6%, and 13% are undecided. Eiland did a further calculation on the 603 responses and found that among those who feel optimistic, 53% favor Gov. Ted Kulongoski, and of those who feel gloomy, 59% favor Saxton. “If things decline, or don’t improve, it will help Saxton,” he says. “If things get better, it will benefit Kulongoski.”

On the ballot measures, the controversial Measure 48 is squarely in the can’t-predict camp, with a big undecided number. Eiland says many ballot measures start off with strong support, then voters become more cautious, with those undecided usually voting no. With that, if our readers were deciding, Measures 40, 42, 43, 45 and 48 would be defeated. But like the man said, it ain’t over ’til it’s over.

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Research conducted by Conkling Fiskum & McCormick.