Gordon Smith Could Get Constitution Party Challenge

Ah, it's nice to be done with my first set of finals here at law school. Looks like I should have a bit more time for regular posting duties starting just about now...

Our own Senate Guru did some investigative work over at his own blog and came up with some interesting news: 2006 Oregon Constitution Party Gubernatorial nominee Mary Starrett is openly speculating about a run against GOP Senator Gordon Smith this cycle. Per the Guru, Starrett on a possible run:

Anything's possible...and let's face it Gordon Smith needs a spanking, don't you think?

The Oregonian's Jeff Mapes chimes in:

One thing about Starrett: she has a good sense of humor. She could be just enjoying seeing the Smith camp squirm a bit. If she were to get into the race, she would join the Democratic nominee - presumably Jeff Merkley or Steve Novick - Smith and independent John Frohnmayer. Interestingly, all of them oppose Bush administration policy in Iraq. Could there actually be room for a candidate who supports the war?

Starrett isn't the strongest political figure in Oregon and might actually bring in less votes than Frohnmeyer, a former moderate Republican running as an independent. But she might actually present a greater problem for Smith than Frohnmeyer given where her votes could come from and indeed did come from during her 2006 bid for Governor, when she pulled in 3.6 percent of the vote, most of which is believed to have come out of potential conservative backers of the GOP unhappy with the quasi-moderate Republican nominee Ron Saxton. It's little wonder, then, that Smith can now be seen kowtowing to the far right from the Senate floor.

In short, with three candidates running at least somewhat from the right, it's not quite so hard to see a Democrat, whether Merkely or Novick, sneaking into victory with 40 or 45 percent of the vote. So while this is no longer in the top five for the Democrats, it might just genuinely be on the map come next fall.

Tags: Constitution Party, Gordon Smith, OR-Sen, Oregon, Senate 2008 (all tags)

Comments

6 Comments

A greater likelihood is Smith winning with 45%, as

Starrett won't draw nearly as many from the Right as Frohnmeyer will from the Left.

Frohnmeyer is a Republican in name only, in fact not even that as he is an Independent, he will run on a platform that will likely be to the left of everyone else on several fronts--- who else has called for the impeachment of Bush?

I'm not supporting Frohnmeyer here, but the math is still difficult for Merkley/Novick as a certain segment of the population will not know about Frohnmeyer's (moderate) Republican roots, they will only hear his leftist platform.

by verasoie 2007-12-19 05:21PM | 0 recs
Frohnmayer Polling

Well, note that it's paid for by the campaign and the pollster has kind of a funky likely voter screen--but there's some truth to the idea that Frohnmayer might siphon off Democratic votes--at least those of Jeff Merkley.

Smith (R) 39
Frohnmayer (IP) 14
Merkley (D) 12

The same question was asked in August, and it was 38/7/19...so while Frohnmayer wasn't taking anything away from Merkley when the latter announced, he is now. And I frankly have not heard much of anything from Frohnmayer so far campaign-wise, so the only conclusion from the data is that Merkley is slipping as the Democratic nominee. The 4Q money race will be interesting.

by torridjoe 2007-12-19 08:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Frohnmayer Polling

The poll is garbage.  So rife with methodological errors that the should ask for their money back.

by karichisholm 2007-12-19 09:07PM | 0 recs
Care to elaborate for the uninitiated? Thx nm

by verasoie 2007-12-19 09:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Care to elaborate for the uninitiated? Thx nm

I'm not qualified to judge methodology (although polling 400 people over the span of two weeks does seem bizarre--it can't be that tough for a professional pollster to tap 400 in a few days...) but Dave Steves at the Register-Guard in Eugene does a good job knocking this poll down.

(Carla--Netroots Outreach, Jeff Merkley for U.S. Senate)

by carla 2007-12-20 08:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Gordon Smith Could Get Constitution Party Chal

So while this is no longer in the top five for the Democrats

Hey Jonathan...  I'll have to disagree with you here.   The Smith race is going to be easily the most competitive and most expensive (per-capita) race in the country in 2008.

It may not be in the top five for "most likely to flip" - which is how most of the pundits like to make their lists.  But that's only a useful metric for silly pundits - not strategists and activists.

For example, Virginia - with popular gazillionaire and former governor Mark Warner on the Dem side - is the "most likely to flip"... but it's not one that we should be spending our time and money on as activists.  It'll be an easy one.

Yes, Gordon Smith is going to be tough and expensive to beat.  But it's eminently doable.

by karichisholm 2007-12-19 09:14PM | 0 recs

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