A poll by Riley Research shows John Frohnmayer leading Jeff Merkley (D) in the race to unseat Gordon Smith (R) from the U.S. Senate in 2008. Merkley is the top recipient of funds nationally for the Democratic Senate Candidate Committee (DSCC). Frohnmayer is seeking the Independent Party nomination for the U.S. Senate seat from Oregon.
The poll, which questioned 401 Oregon voters between November 30 and December 12, showed John Frohnmayer favored by 14% of voters, with Democratic frontrunner Jeff Merkley favored by 12% of voters in a three-way race to unseat incumbent Gordon Smith in the November 2008 election. Frohnmayer fares better than Merkley among Republicans (7% to 2%) and non-affiliated voters (20% to 14%). The three candidates split the votes of Democrats almost equally (Merkley 22%, Frohnmayer 18%, Smith 16%). 35% of Oregon voters remain undecided.
"This poll clearly shows that a party identification is weaker than it has been in the past, and that people are looking for candidates who will speak to their issues. There is a real opportunity for credible Independent candidates to emerge in this election cycle, not only in this Senate race, but in state legislative races as well." said Independent Party founder, Linda Williams.
Smith's numbers have remained fairly constant in the Riley polls. An August poll showed Smith at 39%, while the most recent poll showed him at 40%. The August poll, which was taken before Frohnmayer had announced his candidacy, showed Frohnmayer with 7% of the vote, Merkley at 19%. Merkley's support has fallen from 19% to 12% while Frohnmayer's support has doubled from 7% to 14%.
Download the full poll here: