In the race for Governor, Democrat John Kitzhaber leads Republican Dennis Richardson by 13 points. Kitzhaber picks up 49% of the vote to 36% for Richardson. This comes despite a negative net approval rating for Kitzhaber, where 42% of voters approve of his job performance compared with 46% who disapprove. One reason for Kitzhaber’s large lead in the race is the lack of knowledge about Richardson. A whopping 62% of voters do not have an opinion on Richardson, and those that do are split evenly at 19% favorable and 19% unfavorable.
In the Senate race, Democrat Jeff Merkley has a similarly impressive lead of 14 points over Republican challenger Monica Wehby. Merkley picks up 50% of the vote to Wehby’s 36%, while Merkley’s job performance is at 41% approve to 34% disapprove. Part of Merkley’s lead is due to the negative press surrounding Wehby’s divorce and accusations of stalking by an ex-boyfriend. 59% of voters are aware of these recent news stories, leading voters to have a largely negative view of Wehby. Her favorability rating is at a net of negative 14, with 26% saying they have a favorable opinion and 40% unfavorable.