With all of his other competition out of the way, no one should be surprised how Mitt Romney stacks up against other Republicans in the Oregon primary, set for next Tuesday. A new SurveyUSA poll shows Romney with 58% of the vote, with Ron Paul in a distant second at 14%, which means that the May 15th primary will be as drama-free as possible. However, the poll also shows Romney within the margin of error against Barack Obama in the Democratic stronghold — and gaining:
In a November match-up between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney for President of the United States, Obama today edges Romney, 47% to 43%. Compared to an identical SurveyUSA poll released 2 months ago, when the Republican primary was still competitive, Obama is down 3 points; Romney is up 4. Among women, Obama leads by 13; among men, Romney leads by 6 — a 19-point gender gap. Independents break 4:3 for Obama. In 2008, Obama defeated John McCain by 16 points in Oregon.
The sample in this poll uses registered voters, a survey type that normally tilts a little more toward Democrats. The split might tilt more toward Republicans, though, with a D/R/I of 38/35/27. The D/R/I in 2008 was 36/27/37, and given that independents break more for Obama in this poll (44/33), the difference could be having a substantial impact on the results.
The other internals are intriguing. Anyone from Oregon will be unsurprised to discover that Obama’s strength comes from the Portland area, which he leads by 12 over Romney, but only at a bare majority of 50/38. In the rest of the state, Romney leads by 13 points, 53/40. Obama also leads among 18-34YOs, but not by as much as one would imagine, 49/38, short of a majority. Obama only scores majorities among self-described liberals and very liberals, while carrying Oregon moderates only by a plurality of 47/37.
Obama may have a solid lead, but it’s an unimpressive one in what should be a no-worry, loyal Democratic state. By failing to get to 50%, Obama gives an impression of vulnerability in Oregon, a state that last went Republican when Ronald Reagan ran for re-election. Romney might have Obama playing defense outside of the normally-accepted set of swing states in November.