Politico reports that Sen. Jeff Merkleys internal polling shows him beating Monica Wehby 52%-32%, and beating Conger by 50%-34%.
However, keep in mind that studies have shown that internal polling is biased by an average of 6% points.
More interesting is thatthe Merkley campaign also polled the Conger / Wehby primary and found Conger leading Wehby among Republicans 24% to 22%, leaving over half of all Republican primary voters undecided. Proving that while all the national political experts are pushing the Wehby candidacy, Oregonians Republicans and Independents are more interested in a Conger candidacy.
Then there’s the Dog That Didn’t Bark. Senate Republicans just launched a post McCutcheon Supercommittee. Basically, Parties can now bundle candidates and then go to super donors who will donate the maximum allowed under the US Supreme Court interpretation of campaign contribution law. The committees and political parties can then increase the amount of money going to the committee’s candidates. The most recent Republican Senate supercommittee includes 19 candidates. Eleven incumbents and eight challengers. But, missing among this group of challengers is Dr. Monica Wehby.
If the Republican Party is not going to include Dr. Wehby in it’s list of most preferred candidates to receive their super donors help, how much confidence do they really have that she can beat Sen. Merkley?
I’d suggest – again – that Conger is the stronger candidate to face Merkley, and a Conger candidacy does so much more for Oregon Republican Party than does a Wehby candidacy. Whether the national Republican Party will switch horses at this point is anyones guess. It would be embarassing to do so four weeks before the primary. However, it wouldn’t surprise anyone if Wehby’s national money started to dry up in light of the polling consistently showing her not fairing as well as Conger.