Candidates matter. Even in a wave year, some candidates on the losing side will have no trouble. Dianne Feinstein was an example of that in 1994, and Democrat Ron Wyden appears to be one in 2010, as he is comfortable over Republican Jim Huffman in the latest SurveyUSA poll even as that poll and the Riley poll both have Republican Chris Dudley highly competitive for Governor against Democrat John Kitzhaber.
For Governor, Riley Research says their poll is a dead heat, and at Kitzhaber 40 – Dudley 39 (MoE 5), it basically is. A 54-46 split in favor of Kitzhaber is as close as it gets. SurveyUSA has a different result, though: Dudley 49 – Kitzhaber 43 (MoE 4.2). That I show as a 79/21 split in favor of Dudley. Interesting, as both polls are of Likely Voters.
To break the tie we can turn to Rasmussen Reports, who has Dudley up 49-44 (MoE 4) for a 73/27 split in favor of Dudley. It’s safe to say Dudley is probably ahead right now.
It’s very hard to say Huffman is close, though. SurveyUSA has Wyden up 54-38 (MoE 4.2). That result shows in my chart a 98/2 split in favor of Wyden, and since Huffman has been polling this badly for a while, 2% is probably an optimistic assessment of his chances.
Am I saying Huffman can’t win? No. It just doesn’t look likely right now.