Oregon voters could make political history in November in the race for governor, a new poll suggests.
Republican Christine Drazan leads Democrat Tina Kotek at 36 percent to 34 percent, with independent candidate Betsy Johnson at 19 percent, according to the Emerson College poll released Tuesday.
The poll is part of a larger pattern, the website FiveThirtyEight notes.
Drazan came out on top in seven polls since August.
Her margins over Kotek have varied between 1 and 8 percentage points.
In September, the nonpartisan Cook Political Report moved the race to succeed term-limited Democratic Gov. Kate Brown from “lean Democrat” to “toss-up,” The hill reported.
“There’s a pretty darn good chance that Drazan could win,” Pacific University political science professor Jim Moore said, according to Willamette Week.
Executive director of Emerson College polling, Spencer Kimball, said that among independent voters in the new poll, 34 percent backed Drazan while 18 percent backed Kotek.
Johnson is impacting the race, with 17 percent of Democrats supporting her against only 9 percent of Republicans, the poll notes.
According to the survey, among those who cite the economy as their top issue, 52 plan to vote for the Republican candidate.
The Emerson College poll was conducted Friday and Saturday with a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points.
“I actually view government as having an essential role that should effectively advance core functions and not be all things to all people,” she said, according to Willamette Week.
“I have been up against Tina Kotek when the deck has been stacked and when the math was tough. This is the year for Republicans to win. This is an opportunity to actually make a difference,” Drazan said.