New poll could point to trouble for Kitzhaber's re-election bid

PORTLAND, Ore. - The scandal surrounding John Kitzhaber's fiance could be enough to swing the governor's race in Oregon, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted for our Portland news affiliate KATU.

The poll found that 18 percent of people who had planned to vote for Kitzhaber have changed their minds in the wake of the Cylvia Hayes scandals, and now intend to vote for Republican opponent Dennis Richardson.

If those numbers hold, Richardson would win by a wide margin.

The poll found that 38 percent of respondents planned to vote for Kitzhaber, and still do. But another 18 percent said they've shifted allegiances, which, added to the 37 percent who already planned to vote for Richardson, would be enough to give Richardson the election.

Another six percent of voters as a whole - and nine percent of Democrats - said they're still unsure how they'll vote. One percent said they had planned to vote for Richardson but will vote for Kitzhaber instead.

SurveyUSA reported that the contingent of voters who have said they're switching allegiances are disproportionately young men who are liberals but identify as independent.

The question was asked of 407 people, which was whittled down from 950 based on whether respondents were registered to vote, were paying close attention to the race, and were paying attention to the Hayes scandal.

"This may or may not directly overlap the universe of Oregon's likely voters in 2014," SurveyUSA noted.

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