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FiveThirtyEight

Politics

Sunday, Nate noted that, perhaps counterintuitively, Oregon’s polls show the race between McCain and Obama tightening to the point where it had become our 10th-most competitive state. SurveyUSA released a poll showing the race tightening to 3 points. Given that Oregon’s contested Democratic primary occurred later in the race, it stood to reason that Obama’s post-nomination-clinching “bump” there wouldn’t be as big as in other places.

Still, Obama can only take this as a good sign. Gordon Smith, Oregon’s incumbent Republican Senator, is running an ad wholeheartedly embracing Barack Obama. Looks like Smith, who will defend against Democrat Jeff Merkley in what promises to be an expensive contest, isn’t waiting for SurveyUSA to show Oregon as “Safe Obama.” Given that Oregon Democratic Senator Ron Wyden has consistently pledged not to criticize him, Smith’s opportunity to solidify his bipartisan bona fides may well hold up, even if this turns out to be a landslide year.

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