🚨 New #ORGOV Poll by DHM Research
Christine Drazen (R): 32%
Tina Kotek (D): 31%
Betsy Johnson (I): 18%
— Joel Weingart (@JoelWeingart_) September 28, 2022
Drazan is the former state House Republican leader, while Kotek served as the state Speaker of the House.
“The Democrat vote is likely being split by Betsy Johnson, a former Democrat who is running as an independent,” Breitbart noted.
Johnson resigned from the state senate in 2021 and earned 18 percent support in The Oregonian’s poll.
Lewis & Clark College political science professor Ben Gaskins said Drazan has the advantage by focusing on “bread-and-butter economic issues like gas prices, inflation, crime.”
Drazan would be the first Republican governor Oregon has had in over 35 years if elected to office.
In a separate poll by Clout Research also released Thursday, Drazan similarly led the Democrat candidate. Clout Research’s survey found that Drazan had 38 percent support compared to Kotek’s 35 percent.
Johnson also polled at 16 percent in the second survey.
Drazan Communications Director John Burke commented that the polls indicate momentum is clearly on the Republican’s side.
Burke told Breitbart News:
Christine Drazan stands at the doorstep of history and is well-positioned to win this crucial election for the people of Oregon. With multiple polls showing her leading both of her opponents, it’s clear that the momentum is firmly on her side. Christine is ready to deliver results and forge a new direction for families across Oregon. Every Oregonian who wants to save our state must make their voice heard as we enter the final month of this race.
Deseret News added:
The deeply blue state looks to be considering alternatives due to outgoing Democratic Gov. Kate Brown’s unpopularity among voters. Brown suffers from one of the highest disapproval ratings for governors in the country. This dissatisfaction might be causing problems for Kotek, who is a close ally of Brown.
Beaver State voter discontent also explains support of the independent candidate, Johnson, who is likely siphoning Democratic voters from Kotek. Johnson’s centrist and well-funded campaign is a major reason the unique three-way race is so close. The longtime Democratic state senator turned independent has attracted big financial donations from backers, including from Nike co-founder Phil Knight, who is by far her largest contributor after donating over $1.5 million to her campaign.
Other polls also show a close race, with Drazan usually a point or two ahead of Kotek. The race has repeatedly been reassessed throughout the year as polls have narrowed. In July, the Cook Political Report changed its rating from “Likely Democrat” to “Lean Democrat,” then earlier this month moved the rating to “Toss-up.”
John Horvick, senior vice president of DHM Research, who conducted the most recent poll, told the Oregonian that the race is coming down to the wire. “Christine Drazan has a real opportunity to be the first Republican governor in nearly 40 years,” he said. “This is a toss-up race.”