New poll, analysis finds a close Oregon governor's race

Oregon Governor's Race: Republican Knute Buehler and Democrat Kate Brown. (File Photos)

A nonpartisan organization that analyzes elections called the race for Oregon governor a toss-up Tuesday.

The race between incumbent Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, and Republican state Rep. Knute Buehler has been close for a while. But it was still in the “lean Democrat” column until new poll numbers were released Tuesday and a major political scorecard took the Democratic advantage away.

The Cook Political Report has now moved the race twice. It went from a “likely Democratic win” to a “lean Democrat” in August. But on Tuesday, it moved the race to the “toss-up” column.

A Real Clear Politics polling average only has Brown up by four points. On top of that a new poll done for Oregon Public Broadcasting showed 40 percent plan to vote for Brown and 35 percent of voters plan to vote Buehler.

The Buehler campaign has seized on this news, saying Buehler will lead where Brown has failed.

Brown’s campaign said the last three public polls have Brown up 10, up four and up five points, and there is no evidence to suggest Cook is right.

Also on Tuesday, another Portland-based media outlet backed Buehler for governor.

The Portland Tribune said Buehler would create tension in Salem, where Democrats control the House and the Senate. But the newspaper argued that would be a benefit and it might help break through political stagnation on critical issues.

The Oregonian/OregonLive endorsed Buehler over the weekend.

OPB’s poll also found 17 percent were undecided and four percent planned to vote for Independent Patrick Starnes.

The gap between Brown and Buehler fell within the poll's margin of error of 4.4 percent.

Find complete election coverage here.

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