Oregon: Smith — The DSCC Is Coming, Send Help!

Posted June 27, 2008 at 4:50pm

Sen. Gordon Smith (R) launched a push for campaign funds last Thursday in an attempt to raise $250,000 by today, the contribution deadline for the second-quarter fundraising period.

Smith is locked in a tight battle with state Speaker Jeff Merkley (D), and he said in an e-mail appeal to his supporters that he needed their help to fend off a national Democratic attack machine.

“The national Democratic Party kingmakers hand-picked Jeff Merkley as the Democrats’ U.S. Senate candidate, so we know they will go to any lengths to ensure his election this fall,” Smith writes in the e-mail. “Defeating me and changing Oregon’s Senate seat from Republican to Democrat has become their full-time obsession.”

Merkley was crowing last week after a poll taken in late May showed the race nearly even.

According to the survey, which was conducted by GOP pollster Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Smith led Merkley 38 percent to 34 percent, with 16 percent undecided. An independent, anti-war candidate who has since dropped out of the race garnered 11 percent in that poll.