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Democratic Victory Expected in Oregon Special

Rick Bowmer/Associated Press
Democratic state Sen. Suzanne Bonamici is favored to win the all-mail special election for Oregon’s 1st district, the results of which will be announced tonight.

“If they are spending more than $1 million to try to retain a seat in a district that Barack Obama won with nearly 62 percent of the vote, Democrats face a devastating reality this November in districts where their candidates are frantically trying to hide their ties to Obama’s corrosive policies,” NRCC spokesman Daniel Scarpinato said.

Both campaigns prepared for robust get-out-the-vote efforts over the weekend and on Monday, as all-mail elections usually receive a spike in ballots in the final two days. The most votes will come from suburban Washington County, where county elections officials expected to receive 30 percent of all their ballots on Monday and today.

Asked how the campaign was feeling heading into the final weekend, Bonamici consultant Mark Wiener would not share the campaign’s internal polling, but he pointed to both campaigns’ last TV ads as an indication of how each viewed its candidate’s standing.

Bonamici issued a positive spot for her final salvo that quoted several local newspaper endorsements, including from the Portland Oregonian. Cornilles’ ad tied Bonamici to Wu, who resigned following a sexual assault allegation.

“They’re doing this desperate Hail Mary pass that nobody believes is going to have any impact, and we’re able to finish out strong and positive with the basic message of why Suzanne wants to be in Congress,” Wiener said. “That’s probably pretty telltale right there.”

The Cornilles campaign, cognizant it needs crossover voters to win, hopes the onslaught of Democratic ads has the opposite effect for Bonamici, turning off Democratic voters and pushing them to either vote for Cornilles or not at all.

“We’ve always felt that for Rob to win this thing he’d need a surge at the end,” Cornilles campaign manager Mary Anne Ostrom said. “And there’s no reason to believe that the momentum that started a few days ago isn’t continuing.”

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