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Poll: Oregon Incumbent Has Big Lead

October 3, 2002

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) _ Republican Sen. Gordon Smith has a commanding lead over Democratic challenger Bill Bradbury with less than five weeks before the election, according to a new poll.

In the Riley Research Associates survey released Wednesday, Smith had a 53 percent to 30 percent lead over Bradbury, Oregon’s secretary of state.

Smith had overwhelming support among Republicans and got 28 percent backing from Democrats, the poll said.

The telephone survey of 600 likely votes had a margin of error of plus or minus 6 percentage points. It was conducted for local television network KGW.

Smith has been blanketing the Portland area with pro-gay commercials featuring the mother of Matthew Shepard, the college student whose beating death spurred calls for expanding hate-crime laws.

Other ads portray Smith as an environmentalist who voted against drilling for oil and natural gas in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

``This is really the function of a $3 million TV campaign,″ political analyst Len Bergstein said. ``Money does move numbers in a U.S. Senate race.″

Minor party candidates Lon Mabon and Dan Fitzgerald combined for 3 percent. Fourteen percent were undecided.

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On the Net:

Riley Research Associates: http://www.rileyresearch.com/

Gordon Smith: http://gsmith.senate.gov/

Bill Bradbury: http://www.bradbury2002.com/

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