Poll: Sen. Smith earns bipartisan approval

A majority of both Republicans and Democrats in Sen. Gordon Smith’s (R-Ore.) home state approve of his performance, according to an independent poll released Wednesday.

Fifty-seven percent of Oregon Republicans approve of Smith’s performance, as do 55 percent of Democrats. The poll, conducted by Riley Research Associates, shows his overall approval rating at 54 percent.

The sample was relatively small, with a 4.5 percent margin of error for the total sample and a 7 percent margin within each party (about 200 Republicans and 200 Democrats were surveyed).

“He has a fairly solid majority support among the Republicans, even though a lot of them are disappointed with him,” pollster Mike Riley said on a local radio show, KEX’s “Mark and Dave Show.” Riley wagered that Smith would be difficult to beat in either a primary or general election.

Smith has been targeted by Democrats after speaking out against the Iraq war following the November elections, a move which was seen as a sign of vulnerability. So far, no major candidate from either side has emerged to face him.