Poll: Room for movement in Portland mayor race

Poll: Room for movement in Portland mayor race »Play Video
Charlie Hales (left) and Jefferson Smith

PORTLAND, Ore. – A new poll shows Charlie Hales has a slight advantage over Jefferson Smith in the race to become Portland's next mayor, although there are plenty of voters who are still undecided.

According to the Survey USA poll conducted for KATU News, 34 percent of voters polled said they would vote for Hales, while 29 percent said they would vote for Smith.

37 percent were undecided.

Both Smith and Hales are Democrats running for a nonpartisan office. The poll shows Hales has a lead among Democrats, who comprise about two-thirds of the electorate. Liberals support Smith, while moderates and conservatives back Hales.

The poll shows that Hales supporters tend to be white, older, upper-income voters. Smith has a lead among non-white, lower-income voters who are younger.

The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percent.

The candidates' campaign websites:

School Improvements

43 percent of polled voters support the Portland School District bond measure, while 23 percent oppose it. The measure would issue up to $482 million in bonds to improve schools.

The poll, which has a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percent, shows Republicans and conservatives are against the measure. Those with at least some college education are divided.

Arts Education

The Portland city arts tax measure is much closer at this point. 23 percent of those polled said they will vote “yes”, while 22 percent said they will cast a “no” vote.

The measure would create a $35 annual income tax to fund the arts and arts education. 54 percent of polled voters were undecided.

The arts tax would raise millions of dollars for the arts each year. It would apply to anyone over 18 in Portland who makes more than the federal poverty level, which starts at $11,000 a year for a single person without kids.

Supporters say the arts tax would hire 68 arts and music teachers in Portland elementary schools. That's just over half of the $12 million the tax would raise. Opponents say the tax is unnecessary and question if it will lead other groups to seek their own dedicated taxes.

The margin of error is +/- 4.4 percent.

Library Tax

The Multnomah County Library taxing district creation measure, which would create a dedicated fund for county libraries, has nearly a two to one lead.

38 percent said they were certain to vote “yes”, while 21 percent said they would vote “no.”
41 percent were unsure.

The library tax district would be a permanent, dedicated funding source for Multnomah County libraries instead of the current system of temporary levies that have to be renewed by voters every few years, leaving the library susceptible to huge budget cuts.

The margin of error is +/- 3.9 percent.