Merkley up big over GOP challenger in new poll

A new independent survey shows Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) with a huge lead over Republican challenger Monica Wehby.

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The KATU/SurveyUSA poll shows Merkley with 50 percent support to Wehby’s 32 percent support among likely Oregon voters.

With female voters, that lead grows to 21 points. 

Merkley leads in every gender, age, education and income group tested, and holds a slight lead with independent voters, 35 percent to Wehby’s 31 percent. He also takes 16 percent of Republicans. 

And while Wehby leads among voters who say the Affordable Care Act and Oregon’s exchange are major factors in their vote, those voters make up a minority of respondents overall.

The results run counter to a survey released by Wehby’s campaign on Wednesday. That poll, conducted by The Tarrance Group, showed a much tighter race, with Merkley taking 41 percent support to Wehby’s 39 percent support.

While Republicans believe Wehby can make the typically blue state competitive this fall, her campaign has suffered over the past few weeks after reports revealed the history of her messy personal relationships.

The SurveyUSA poll was conducted among 560 likely Oregon voters from June 5-9 via landline over robopoll and online survey through their tablets or smartphones, and it has a margin of error of 4.2 percent.