It's been a while since we've seen a public poll in the Portland mayor's race, and KPTV has finally obliged us. Results released last night—from a phone survey of 400 likely voters conducted April 28-30—confirm Charlie Hales' ascent as the leader, just barely, but also show a big jump for Jefferson Smith, who'd been trailing Hales and Eileen Brady by a healthy margin in other recently released polls, both public and private.
And, just like other recent polls, "undecided" was still beating everyone, at 28 percent. (But that number, now that ballots have finally hit all the mailboxes they'll hit, has undoubtedly begun to drop.) How reliable is the poll? Evan Manvel, a Smith supporter and Bike Walk Vote co-chair, writes in Blue Oregon that the polling firm, DHM Research, is "generally respected"—meaning these are hardly bunk numbers.
What I'm wondering now is if Brady—despite having raised more than a million bucks (and spent much of it)—will even make the November runoff. Some might argue Hales has stalled out, but she's been stalled out for a lot longer, months longer, and doesn't have the field operation that Smith has built. I asked some smart people about that possibility last week, and they told me I was reaching, based on the private polls they were seeing at the time. Now? It would seem anything is certainly possible. Really. Anything.
Well, okay, not quite anything. Sam Adams isn't running, so no matter how well he might be polling, he can't win. That said, KPTV threw his name in the mix just for kicks. And, well, he ever so slightly edged Smith. No doubt someone will say, "Imagine if he'd have actually campaigned!" Which might have some merit. Except that, if he was, so much about the past several months would have been so different if he'd diverted himself from his official duties (at a very shitty time) , that it's really impossible to judge.
Click over to KPTV to see those results, and also some of the reasons respondents listed when asked why they're backing the candidates they're backing!