Polls Bring Mixed News for Smith’s 3rd-Term Bid

Posted March 29, 2007 at 10:56am

A Democratic poll taken in February shows potential trouble on the horizon for the re-election hopes of Sen. Gordon Smith (R) — though an independent survey conducted in March shows him reasonably positioned to make a strong run at a third term.

A Grove Insight poll taken last month showed a prospective Smith challenger, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D), with a slightly higher personal favorability rating than the Senator and with a 4-point lead over him in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup, 42 percent to 38 percent.

DeFazio said in January that he has ruled out a 2008 Senate bid, though some Democrats believe he could change his mind.

However, a Riley Research and Associates poll found Smith to have a job approval rating of 54 percent, with 21 percent saying they were neutral or undecided as to how well of a job he is doing in Congress. Ironically, 55 percent of Democrats gave Smith high job approval marks, compared with 44 percent of independents.

The nonpartisan Riley survey of 478 likely voters had a 4.5 percent error margin. The Democratic Grove Insight poll, of 600 likely voters, had a 4.1 percent error margin.
— David M. Drucker